In fact, the scientists asked for permission to use 20 brain-dead human subjects for their research. Brain death isn’t true death. No, the body is still alive, but the blood-flow to the brain has ceased, and the organ will eventually liquefy. The body has lost “integrated function” and usually subsequently dies, too.
However, people can be artificially kept alive for long periods of time while brain dead, or “clinically dead,” in many countries. With the help of life-support systems, the body continues to function. Indeed, its blood flows, it digests food, it grows, and it can both become ill and recover.