When does the body die during the organ donation process?


When/how does the body die during the organ donation process?

Does the body die when you start removing the vital organs, like the heart?

Or do they turn off the machines and the body dies and then they begin operating? Like when is the time of death recorded, at the brain death test or when the body actually dies?

Do surgeons ever feel guilty about this process? Obviously, the person is dead and they’re not technically killing them, but I imagine it’d be weird to perform surgery on a body (not the brain) that would die as a result.

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Organs/tissue are taken after the donor is declared “brain dead” by a doctor. All of the cells in the body don’t all die at once. So there is a window of time in which to extract donated organs and tissue.

Death is usually defined as brain-death; i.e. the point when the brain is declared irreversibly degraded.

Your entire body doesn’t just “die” at once when you die. The systems start to shut down, but individual cells will keep chugging until they either die of starvation or drown in their own waste. Most cell types last mere minutes or hours. White blood cells though have been found to survive up to 3 days post-mortem according to one source I found.