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As stated above -- halachic death would be when there's irreversible heart cessation. However, your intuition is somewhat correct. See this related question. Once the patient's heart is removed, there is no longer a chezkas chai -- presumption of living -- and thus the odds of success have to exceed fifty percent to allow heart transplants. (Rabbi Unterman ...


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Bereishis Rabba 14:11 רַבִּי לֵוִי בְּשֵׁם רַבִּי חֲנִינָא אָמַר, עַל כָּל נְשִׁימָה וּנְשִׁימָה שֶׁאָדָם נוֹשֵׁם צָרִיךְ לְקַלֵּס לַבּוֹרֵא, מַה טַּעַם (תהלים קנ, ו): כֹּל הַנְּשָׁמָה תְּהַלֵּל יָהּ, כָּל הַנְּשִׁימָה תְּהַלֵּל יָהּ. Breathing is required so that we have a constant reminder to thank Hashem for our lives. (I once heard that is the reason a ...


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