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Catholic Dictionary




A form of medical evidence of bodily death, when the death of the cerebral cortex is shown by flat tracings on an electroencephalograph. Sometimes called cerebral death or irreversible coma, it is useful as a scientific confirmation of death. The further question of ow long a flat electroencephalogram must last to be sure of death is still debated, although five hours has been recommended in the case of organ transplants. On moral grounds, other proven criteria must also be used to establish clinical death.