A strictly biological definition of death as a specific event is both possible & socially desirable. Contrary to L. C. Becker (see SA 24:5/76I1544), brain-stem death, as defined by the Harvard Committee of 1968, provides a satisfactory definition of death, since it provides as equally valid a yardstick as the conventional criteria of cessation of respiration & of the heartbeats. The convergence of transplant surgery with extraordinary methods of resuscitation has led to considerable confusion concerning the boundaries of life & has placed the issue of an alternative biological criterion of death in the foreground of public interest. The concept of a biological definition of death is defended against proposals to redefine death in terms of social, economic, or morally relevant criteria. The criteria for diagnosing death, being strictly biological, must be distinguished from discussions concerning the quality of residual life & decisions as to when, if ever, the existence of a living being should be terminated. Following a survey of changing attitudes toward the traditional diagnosis of death within the medical profession, the actual criteria for the diagnosis of brain-stem death is examined & then defended against the accusation that any departure from criteria based on the cessation of the heart & respiratory organs must constitute an "artificial advancement of death." AA.