29-year-old man had been incarcerated in a jail. He was found unconscious in his cell on Sunday, and was believed to be dead.
Three forensic doctors allegedly examined him and certified his death.
“You’re dead when a doctor says you’re dead,”
But 4 hours later, right before his autopsy, he was heard making noises on the autopsy table, and was found to still be alive.
Determining whether someone is dead or alive might sound simple enough, but there are not universal guidelines for exactly when doctors should pronounce someone dead.
“You’re dead when a doctor says you’re dead,” Dr. James Bernat, a neurologist at Dartmouth College’s Geisel School of Medicine in New Hampshire says.
Broadly speaking, a person may be declared dead when one of two things happens: Their heart stops beating and doesn’t start again, or they are “braindead.”