I think our british VC is awarded to someone who has or should have Died while pretty much saving the day.
Many have won the Victoria cross and lived.
Granted, many more are posthumous but death isn't in the criteria. Disregard for your own safety etc is in there but you can very much win one and live.
A few years ago I looked, long and hard (well, on t'internet, anyway) to see if there is indeed a published description of the criteria governing the award of the VC. My search was unproductive. I was left with the impression that such guidelines as there are neither very specific nor very formal.
If anyone can disabuse me of this impression, and lead me to a set of clear rules, I'd be much obliged.