Can a person be revived even after 10 minutes?

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Until now, it was thought that death means “Your heart stops beating, your brain shuts down” or the moment of cardiac arrest. Until 50 years ago, when CPR was developed, when you reached this point, you couldn’t come back. That led to the perception that death is completely irreversible.

But remember if I were to die this instant, the cells inside my body wouldn’t have died yet. It takes time for cells to die after they are deprived of oxygen. It does not happen instantly. We have a longer period of time than people perceive.

When you become a corpse, when the doctor declares you dead, there’s still a possibility, from a biological and medical perspective, of death being reversed.

If left alone the cells become damaged. There’s going to be a time when you cannot bring them back. But nobody knows exactly when that moment is.

It might not just be in tens of minutes, but in over an hour. Death is really a process.

Death is, essentially, the same as a brain stroke. In stroke, blood flow stops from getting into the brain. Whether it is because the heart stopped pumping, or there was a clot that stopped blood flow, the cells don’t care.

Brain cells can be viable for up to 8 hours after blood flow stops.
If we can learn to manipulate processes going on in cells, and slow down the rate at which cells die, we could go back and fix the problem that caused a person to die, then re-start the heart and bring them back. In a sense, death could become reversible for conditions for which treatments become available.

If someone dies of a heart attack, for example, and it can be fixed, then in principle we can protect the brain, make sure it does not experience permanent cellular death, and re-start the heart. If someone dies of cancer, though, and that particular cancer is untreatable, then it’s futile.

When you die, most of your cell death occurs through apoptosis, or programmed cell death. If your body is cold, the chemical reactions underlying apoptosis are slower. Cooling the body slows the rate at which cells decay.

But we are talking about chilling, not freezing. The process of freezing will damage cells. (Source: Erasing Death: The Science That Is Rewriting the Boundaries Between Life and Death.)

Cabinet nod to ordinance for elected MCI body

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The Union Cabinet today cleared for the issue of an ordinance to pave the way for an elected body of the apex medical regulator.

The term of the Medical Council of India’s Board of Governors has ended, rendering the apex medical regulator headless.

Sources said the Cabinet gave its approval to the note for the draft ordinance in this regard, which is likely to be issued by the President soon.

The need for issue of an ordinance came as the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2013, which allows for an elected apex medical regulator, is yet to be passed by Parliament even though it has been approved by the Cabinet.

The MCI was being run by a seven-member Board of Governors headed by its chairman — all of whom were nominated by the government. The Board’s term expired on May 13. The MCI is without a proper body since then.

The elected MCI body was disbanded by the government and a Board of Governors was installed.
The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2013 seeks to give government powers to remove the President or other MCI office-bearers if they are found indulging in corrupt practices or serious offences of “moral turpitude”.

Once passed, the Bill seeks to bring about such necessary changes requiring the government to act in case of serious charges against MCI office-bearers.

The changes in the new law governing the apex medical regulator, proposed by the Union Health Ministry, include fixing tenure of the President of the elected-body of MCI to a maximum period of four years for two continuous terms.

Earlier, the MCI President could have a 5-year tenure and there was no limit on the number of terms. The changes have been necessitated as government had no control over the elected body under the present law governing it.

The new Bill also makes mandatory renewal of enrolment of doctors every 10 years in the registers maintained by the body or state councils. (Source Business standard)