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In the late 1950s, with the advancement in medical technology, human beings could not be defined dead on the ground that they could no longer breathe or that the heart beat had stopped. Why? This was because some persons presumed to be dead could be reanimated using mechanical ventilators and cardiopulmonary reanimation. Thus, “Brain death” (BD) criterion was introduced, such that a person is considered dead once there is an irreversible loss of brain function. This position led to a great debate among medical practitioners and scholars on ascertaining an alternative criterion by which a human being could be defined dead. Thus, in an attempt to avoid burying human beings alive or transplanting their organs for monetary gains, the paper posits “Anima Factoris” criterion as an alternative. This criterion is built on a holistic understanding of human nature, in which consideration is given to the non-physical, non-empirical, immaterial component of the human person which is sometimes called the Soul, Spirit, or Vital Force – that which determines human consciousness, as well as the ability to revitalize the human person even when the organs had disintegrated. Thus, the aim of this paper is to highlight the inadequacy of both ‘pulmonary’ and ‘brain death’ criteria, with the objective of demonstrating that only the departure of the psychic, non-physical comportment of the human person could determine when death actually finally occurs. Findings from ‘back-from-death’ instances (case studies?), telepathic and psychic experiences and parapsychological phenomena garnered from metaphysical or ontological investigation confirm the ‘Anima factoris’ proposal and beckons its inclusion in Africa medical procedure in the final determination of death. The methodology adopted is bibliographic review and analysis of existing case studies.


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