Death is the cessation of life. Traditionally in medicine, death has been pronounced on cessation of the heartbeat. However, modern resuscitation and life-support techniques have led to the revival of many people whose hearts have stopped. In a small minority of such cases, while for a short time breathing and heartbeat can be maintained artificially, the potential for life is extinct. In this context death may be pronounced when it is clear that the brain no longer controls vital functions.