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Dying and death

The death of the body is a natural outcome of all life on Earth. "Life is a way of existence of protein, essential aspect of which is a constant exchange of substances with the outside nature, and with the termination of this metabolism stops, and the life that leads to the decomposition of protein"1. The concept of death Engels defines as follows. Death is "...the decomposition of organic body, leaving nothing behind except chemical components, formed its substance..."2 "to live means to die"3.
Thus, the concept of "death" is inextricably linked to the notion of "life" and is its logical conclusion. The transition from life to death is associated with the disorder of metabolism, which is a consequence of infringement of oxidative processes at the cellular and molecular levels.
Anoxia contributes to the activation of catabolic processes in cells primarily the Central nervous system. Oxidative type of currency is replaced by the glycolytic that leads to a sharp decrease of ATP synthesis and is accompanied by inhibition of transport of electrons, a violation of ion gradients and the formation of free radicals, increases the permeability of cell membranes, which leads to destructive changes in the cell in the form of cloudy swelling, hydropic degeneration and loss of endogenous pigment. These reversible phenomenon in the cell with continued anoxia pass a kind of a critical point and turn into progressive irreversible degenerative changes. Morphological manifestations of these changes are vacuolation kernel, the emergence hyperchromic material near nuclear membrane, the fragmentation of the nucleus of the cell. Irreversible damage to cellular structures associated with the denaturation (hydrolysis) protein, coupled with the disappearance of RNA and DNA. Released from cytoplasmic structures enzymes exacerbate the degradation of cells, followed by a autolysis.
In a relatively short time (up to 8 min) dies the cerebral cortex. Longer survive using glycolytic type of currency, subcortical centers and spinal cord. Resistance to the state of hypoxia and anoxia in various organs and tissues is unequal, and therefore their death occurs in a period after the heart stops. So, for example, bone marrow retains its viability under 4 hours, while the supporting tissues (skin, tendons, muscles, bone) - up to 20 - 24 h after the termination of the activity of the heart. Different ability experiences of individual organs and tissues and their death in different terms from the stopping of heart and is used in transplantation. Currently, the death of the human body with General medical point of view is considered from two positions. The death of the organism as a whole, i.e. the statement of the final shutdown of the heart that gives the doctor right to say that people died, making a relevant entry in the medical history and issue of the medical certificate of death. On the other positions, the death of the body is seen as a gradual, not simultaneous cessation of vital activity of separate tissues and organs.
From a forensic perspective, the death of a person is considered as death of the whole body, the expert must say at the scene (and under different conditions, for example, when necessary, the removal of organs for transplantation).
The science that studies the process of dying, death, its causes and postmortal manifestations, is called thanatology. Forensic medicine, in addition to General thanatology, engaged in the study and solution of many special issues necessary for the administration of justice and health. Section of thanatology, entered the competence of the forensic doctors, called forensic thanatology. In this section, in addition to General provisions, presents specific issues related to violent, sudden and unexpected death.

1 K. Marx, F. Engels Op. 2-e Izd., so 20, S. 616.
2 ibid., C. 610.
3 ibid. C. 611.