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uniform determination of death act

a proposal that established uniform guidelines for determining when death has occured

1

brain death

final cessation of the bodily activity, used to determine when death actually occurs; circulatory and respiratory functions have irreversibly ceased, and the entire brain (including the brain stem) has irreversibly ceased to function

2

coma

a condition of deep stupor from which the patient cannot be roused by external stimuli

3

persistent vegetative state (PVS)

severe mental impairment characterized by irreversible cessation of the higher functions of the brain, most often caused by damage to the cerebral cortex

4

palliative care

treatment of a terminally ill patient's symptoms to make dying more comfortable; also called comfort care

5

curative care

treatment directed toward curing a patient's disease

6

hospice

a facility or program (often carried out in a patient's home) in which teams of health care practitioners and volunteers provide a continuing environment that focuses on the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of the dying patient

7

terminally ill

referring to patients who are expected to die within six months

8

thanatology

the study of death and of the psychological methods of coping with it

9

uniform rights of the terminally ill act

a 1989 recommendation of the national conference of commissioners on uniform state laws that all states construct laws to address advance directives

10

active euthanasia

a conscious medical act that results in the death of a dying person

11

passive euthanasia

the act of allowing a dying patient to die naturally, without medical interference

12

voluntary euthanasia

the act of ending a dying patient's life by medical means with his or her permission

13

involuntary euthanasia

the act of ending a terminal patient's life by medical means without his or her permission

14

patient self- determination act

a federal law passed in 1990 that requires hospitals and other health care providers to provide written information to patients regarding their rights under state law to make medical decisions and execute advance directives

15

living will

an advance directive that specifies an individual's end- of- life wishes

16

durable power of attorney

an advance directive that confers upon a designee the authority to make a variety of legal decisions on behalf of the grantor, usually including health care decisions

17

health care proxy

a durable power of attorney issued for purposes of health care decisions only

18

do- not- resuscitate (DNR)

orders written at the request of patients or their authorized representatives that cardiopulmonary resuscitation not to be used to sustain life in a medical crisis

19

national organ transplant act

passed in 1984, a statute that provides grants to qualified organ procurement and transplantation network

20

uniform anatomical gift act

a recommendation of the national conference of commissioners on uniform state laws, that all states accepted, allowing individuals to donate their bodies or body parts, after death, for use in transplant surgery, tissue banks, or medical research or education