There is no true definition of deceased

On behalf of Orin Cohen of Orin J. Cohen Law

While death may be the end of life, there is no set definition as to when it occurs. What constitutes death may be different in New York as opposed to other states. As technology evolves, it allows scientists to keep organs to remain in a functional state for longer periods of time after a medical emergency. Therefore, some believe that defining death is a debate that involves both science and philosophy.

However, the 1981 Uniform Determination of Death Act created guidelines to determine if a person is no longer living. It says that a person can be declared dead if there is cessation of circulatory, respiratory or brain function. A case involving a 17-year-old girl further blurred the lines between what it meant to be alive or dead. Although she was declared brain dead, she was still breathing thanks to a ventilator. Furthermore, her heart was still beating, which convinced her family that she wasn’t dead.

The family even moved her from California to a hospital in New Jersey to ensure that she received the treatment she needed to stay alive. While the girl ultimately died of liver failure, the family is planning on filing a wrongful death suit. In the suit, the girl’s relatives say that they were discriminated against based on their race.

The loss of a loved one can be a stressful experience regardless of how it happens. If a death occurs because of another party’s negligence, it may be possible for a victim’s family to pursue compensation. It may help to pay medical bills a deceased person incurred and to further compensate the surviving family members for their losses.

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