When do you declare someone dead? Are they really dead?

Correct me if I am wrong (nicely please, lol), but I thought the brain was the main part of the body. It communicates to the rest of the parts to function. So if someone is deprived of oxygen to the brain, even for a few short moments, they are declared brain dead. How are the rest of the body parts functioning normally without the brain communicating? In this case, is someone really dead? What is the definition of dead? How can the brain be dead but not the rest of the body? Is the person really brain dead or just in a coma? When is someone really dead? When do you let go? Hard thing to go through.

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