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The diagnosis of brainstem death and its implications.

Until relatively recently the definition of death was a cessation of breathing and the absence of a pulse (Dimond, 2004). However, artificial ventilation can now maintain respiratory function, external chest compressions can maintain circulation and cardiac defibrillation can restore the heart to a functioning rhythm. This means that people who would previously have been considered dead are now seen as being in need of urgent medical attention, which can result in them being kept alive ...

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