When a person's circulation stops, death occurs. If someone's heart stops, he or she will die unless circulation is restarted quickly. Since a person's sudden collapse must be addressed so quickly, many people are trained to make the efforts needed to restart circulation right away. And, usually, treatment is what people in the community would want.
However, when you are seriously ill, you may find this procedure, called cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), to be worthless or even deeply disturbing. While you may be grateful for the time you have, or at least willing to endure whatever time fate hands out, you might well not want someone to disrupt your time of death with a flurry of activity that is doomed to have little effect.
To learn more about the book "Handbook for Mortals" click here.