Death is a dimmer switch

The effectiveness of CPR changed our conception of when death occurs and what it entails. People facing sudden cardiac death were suddenly now surviving. Death, it turns out, is not turning off the light. Death is using the dimmer. It is a progressive phenomenon with decreasing possibilities for recovery, without proper intervention. With my heart not pumping and my lungs not respiring, my brain quickly lessened its need for oxygen by reducing its activity to preserve itself. I lay in that ephemeral abyss, the probability continuum between life and death. My brain remained alive but dormant, its cells extinguishing. Any cognitions I might have had at the time were sacrificed for its survival. My brain was simply doing its job and I did not die. It is a wondrous thing.

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