How do I pronounce a patient dead?
You can always do with the intern Potts does in The House of God:
We peeked through the curtain: Potts was standing at the foot of the bed, his BMS beside him holding a Bible, on which rested Potts's hand. His other hand was raised toward the body, which was lying there as white as a corpse, which was what it was. As we watched, Potts intoned:
"By the power vested in me by this great state and nation I hereby pronounce you, Elliott Reginald Needleman, dead."