From organ donation discussions I learned that some don't view brain death as death and only view the cessation of the heart's beating to be death.

According to that, if someone's heart was stopped and then resumed, must he remarry his wife and must his brother do halitzah?


1 Answer 1


My understanding of the view that the heart has to stop beating for the person to be considered dead, is that it requires a few factors simultaneously:

  • No heart beat
  • No breathing
  • Doctors saying that those functions cannot be revived

As long as any one of those three are in place, the person is not considered Halachicly dead.

Not remembering where I read that, as it has been a while.

Therefore, if he is revived by the doctors after the first two have happened, he was never dead, and it is considered that he lived the whole time, uninterrupted.

I have seen some discussions around bonified Techiyas HaMeisim. In that case, the marriage is dissolved, I believe was the conclusion (with all the attendant considerations). But that has nothing to do with Halachic death, Techiyas HaMeisim is a different category (see here and here).

  • Ok. so say that this happens. Must he remarry his wife and must his brother do halitzah? Jul 7, 2014 at 15:42
  • 1
    @ClintEastwood, no, he didn't die.
    – Yishai
    Jul 7, 2014 at 15:47
  • What if the doctors gave up hope?
    – Double AA
    Jul 7, 2014 at 15:54
  • @DoubleAA, and the person spontaneously revives?
    – Yishai
    Jul 7, 2014 at 15:55
  • Sure. 10 minutes later. Stranger things have happened.
    – Double AA
    Jul 7, 2014 at 15:55

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