When does the body die?
July 7, 2006 10:22 AM Subscribe
I've got a probably horribly complicated question about death. How long after the brain stops braining does the body actually die?
posted by twine42 to Science & Nature (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm driving myself insane with the question of when exactly the body dies.
Now, I'm pretty happy that the actual person (or the spirit or the conciousness) dies when brainwave function flatlines. But what about the rest of your body? When do you consider the cells dead?
Imagine that someone gets shot in the head, brain bits everywhere. The brain is going to flatline pretty quickly. But, it's going to be a while until the cells in your hand (for example) stop trying to grab oxygen and nutrients out of your blood.
So, when could you consider the body dead? When the oxygen runs out? When the last cell divides? When delay starts? And how long would this actually take?
Don't you just love these easy questions?