How does it feel to die?

It is true that death and life is not controlled by humans. Someone always take care of this issue. However, death is a mystery, only truly solved in your final moments, but Anna Gosline offers some macabre insights. This is brilliant read:

If there is one thing we can be certain of in life, it’s that eventually we will die – that is, we will no longer be alive. Sadly we are not completely certain what “being dead” means: defining death is much more complicated than it appears, and it’s getting harder to define all the time.

As recently as a century ago, it was priests not doctors who declared a person dead. When in doubt, they looked for signs of putrefaction. As medicine advanced, however, it became apparent that death was not an event, but a process.

Even so, for practical purposes an arbitrary line had to be drawn. First it was taken as the heart stopping. Then came the notion of brain death and in the 1960’s this seemed like the way forward. For a while it was even considered foolproof: once activity ceases in the brain and brainstem you can never regain consciousness, and without intervention the body will quickly shut down.

But foolproof it is not and the fact that several hundred neurologists and philosophers are gathering next May for the fifth International Symposium on the Definition of Death shows this only too well.

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