THE definition of the moment of death is to be redrawn to include anyone watching the cable television channel LivingTV, doctors announced last night.
At the moment people are only classified as being dead when doctors decide that all activity in the brain has ceased or if it takes them longer than four minutes to complete the quick crossword in the Sun.
However, hospital tests confirm that this state of ‘brain death’ also occurs while watching Paranormal Egypt, Most Haunted, Just Jade and Extreme Celebrity Yo Yo Dieting, the doctors said.
Dr Wayne Hayes, head of medical ethics at the University of Dundee, said he would have no qualms about removing the vital organs of anyone who was sitting on a sofa viewing Britain’s Next Top Model, Grey’s Anatomy, or any of the later series of Will and Grace.
He said: “It is important we doctors have a strict definition of when a patient is dead so that we know when to start harvesting their organs. There is nothing worse than having to put someone’s brain back in after having taken it out, there is always one fiddly bit left on the side which you only discover after you’ve put the lid on and screwed it down.
“The advantage of this new system is the removal of all doubt. We can say with absolute certainty that all brain function has ceased once LivingTV is on. But we still have to move fast. There is no point harvesting a brain at the end of an episode of Extreme Makeover UK as by then it’s just useless.”
If latest redefinition of brain death proves successful there are plans to expand it further to include viewers of Richard and Judy on Channel Four, and then Richard and Judy themselves, although the latter would be preserved in specimen jars in a museum and not used as organ donors.
“The idea that Richard or Judy might live on in any way in another form is just to horrible to contemplate,” said Dr Hayes.