I’m not quite ready to die yet – but when I do get there, I’d like to still be healthy, and die a peaceful death. However, the chances of dying in peace are falling. Why?

Dying has become a lucrative business. Not just for cemeteries, but also for health care practitioners, medical equipment providers, and pharmaceutical companies. And their current motivators are profit, and patient longevity. With one thing that you just don’t say out loud: that comes at the cost of patient comfort. Instead of doctors visiting you at home and helping you prepare mentally for the next world, now you visit them and hope to extend your lifespan. Good medical care is no longer rated based on how happy you feel, but on how much longer you live. So how is dying actually happen?

What happens when you die naturally?

Dying is a natural, hormone-driven process.

  1. You lose your appetite. Your body continues to produce hormones to suppress hunger.
  2. You lose your thirst.
  3. Your kidneys fail – but your body continue to produce happiness hormones.
  4. You slowly become increasingly tired and breathing becomes more difficult, because the lungs no longer properly function
  5. The lack of oxygen triggers hallucinations.
  6. You fall into a coma, and die peacefully in a happy hallucination.

What happens when you you die under medical intervention?

… so when medical intervention prolongs this process with artificial feeding, infusions, artificial respiration, and dialysis, you prolong the process of dying, and the extended life comes riddled with medical complications resulting from the treatments, such as bed-ridden complications resulting from insufficient physical activity, hormonal imbalances, end-of-life hallucinations in an extended coma produced without influence of the happiness hormone, etc. Extending life through medical intervention during this natural stage of dying may keep someone alive for several months longer, but the quality of life deteriorates as you suffer from side effects caused by your medical care.

Of course, if you stand a decent chance of recovery, then by all means: modern medicine is there to help. But if your body has already initiated its ‘shutdown’ sequence, perhaps moving on in peace is the better alternative.

4 Replies to “80% of people die in peace. This number has been higher. What went wrong?”

  1. I don't see why you'd think that "dying naturally" is some uniform process, but it's certainly true that more people (especially the elderly) should look into hospice care when they are dying. "Heroic medicine" (as we call the extensive efforts to keep people alive at any cost) is often significantly less comfortable, and sometimes even less effective at keeping the patient alive longer, than hospice care. And it's terribly expensive, too.

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