In crime news reports, you’d hear or read victims being brought to hospitals and declared “dead on arrival.” It seem such a perfectly timed death – victims dying on arrival.
Of course, what is meant by the phrase is that they were declared dead by doctors when their bodies were brought to the hospital.
“Dead on arrival or DOA is a notation that a patient was brought to a hospital and immediately pronounced dead by a physician. The term arises because first responders such as emergency medical technicians (a.k.a. paramedics or ambulance drivers) do not have the authority to pronounce a patient dead (in the U.S. at least), and they are obliged, in the absence of a do not resuscitate order, to attempt resuscitation if there is any possibility of life and to continue resuscitation until the patient has been examined by a physician, which usually occurs only after the patient has been brought to a hospital.”