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Dr. Robert Klitzman on Definition of Death

Jahi McMath, Brain-Dead Teen Released to Mother
January 6, 2014

“Just as there are questions about where life begins,” says Robert Klitzman, a bioethicist at Columbia University, “there are questions about the definition of death.”

In defining death, those questions are a result of technology that keeps the heart beating even while the brain is entirely silent, says Dr. Klitzman. In cases where the person's death was especially unexpected, as was Jahi's death, that heartbeat can furnish a grieving family's hope that the loved one is not, in fact, dead, he says

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