Medical Technology Makes ‘Time of Death’ Harder to Pinpoint

(The Atlantic) – As medical technology becomes more advanced, it also becomes more difficult for doctors to discern the line between life and death. PET scans, which have been widely used since the 1990s, are a good example. Rather than solely showing body anatomy like an MRI or CT scan would, a PET scan can actually detect cellular activity in tissues. In a study published last year in The Lancet, 13 out of 41 patients in a persistent vegetative state showed detectable brain activity on PET scans, results that the investigators thought were consistent with “minimal consciousness.”

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