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Brain death

Brain stem death is where a person no longer has any activity in their brain stem, and has permanently lost the potential for consciousness and the capacity to breathe.
Diagnosing brain death
For brain stem death to be diagnosed, a person must fail to respond to outside stimulation and there must be clear evidence of serious, irreversible brain damage.
Before life support equipment such as ventilators were used, people with brain death would always die within minutes.