The question of when death occurs is a matter of some dispute due to continuous advances in medical technology. However, according to the Uniform Determination of Death Act which is widely recognized throughout the United States there are two sufficient conditions for determining an individual's death: Either

  1. An irreversable cessation of cardio-pulminary functions, or
  2. An irreversable cessation of brain activity (including brain-stem activity).

Defining 'death' is far more problematic since any proposed definition requires a definition of 'life'. For our purposes, however, we will simply define 'death' as the cessation or end of the biological functions of an organism.