Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers - Chapter 8, How to Know if You're Dead Summary & Analysis

Mary Roach
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Chapter 8, How to Know if You're Dead Summary and Analysis

Chapter 8 considers the definition of death, live burial, and the search for the soul. Roach watches as "beating-heart" cadaver, referred to as "H," arrives at UCSF medical center. H is brain dead, but her still-functioning organs will be recovered to save the lives of people desperately in need of transplants. One doctor will fly in from Utah to recover H's heart. Her liver and kidneys will be transported two floors down.

Roach watches as the surgeon uses a cauterizing wand to cut H open from neck to pubic bone, filling the air with the smell of seared meat. H's sternum is sawed lengthwise, and her ribs are parted, exposing her still-functioning internal organs. Roach struggles with the notion that H is a cadaver and not a living person. Beating-heart...

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This section contains 546 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers Study Guide
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