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Dying is a happier experience than most people imagine

Dying is a happier experience than most people imagine

Dying is a more positive experience than most people imagine, psychologists have claimed. A recent YouGov survey found 68 per cent of people in Britain fear death – but according to the authors of new study, dying is “less sad and terrifying – and happier – than you think”. Researchers at the University of North Carolina analysed blogs written by terminally ill patients and last words of prisoners on death row.

How one death saved seven lives

How one death saved seven lives

A seven-year-old boy’s heart has finally stopped beating 22 years after he was shot dead. Nicholas Green, from the US, was killed during a holiday in southern Italy in 1994 when attackers mistook his family’s rental car for one involved in a jewellery heist. His brave parents opted to donate their son’s organs and his heart, corneas, kidneys, liver and pancreas were given to seven people in desperate need – changing their lives forever.

Fear of talking about dying ‘leading to thousands of traumatic hospital deaths’

Fear of talking about dying ‘leading to thousands of traumatic hospital deaths’

Thousands of cancer patients would prefer to die at home but are forced to suffer “traumatic” deaths in hospital, according to Macmillan. Taboos around talking about death are fuelling a “crisis of communication” in the UK that prevents people from planning their final days, warned the organisation in a new report. Research by the charity found that while 38 per cent of people who die from cancer die in hospital, just one per cent would choose to do so, with…

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How Doctors Want to Die

How Doctors Want to Die

Dr. Kendra Fleagle Gorlitsky recalls the anguish she used to feel performing CPR on elderly, terminally ill patients. “I felt like I was beating up people at the end of their life,” she says. It looks nothing like what people see on TV. In real life, ribs often break and few survive the ordeal. Gorlitsky now teaches medicine at the University of Southern California and says these early clinical experiences have stayed with her. “I would be doing the CPR…

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Bringing the Dead back to Life

Bringing the Dead back to Life

A radical procedure that involves replacing a patient’s blood with cold salt water could retrieve people from the brink of death, says David Robson. “When you are at 10C, with no brain activity, no heartbeat, no blood – everyone would agree that you’re dead,” says Peter Rhee at the University of Arizona, Tucson. “But we can still bring you back.” Rhee isn’t exaggerating. With Samuel Tisherman, at the University of Maryland, College Park, he has shown that it’s possible to…

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Processed meat links to early death

Processed meat links to early death

Sausages, ham, bacon and other processed meats appear to increase the risk of dying young, a study of half a million people across Europe suggests. It concluded diets high in processed meats were linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer and early deaths. The researchers, writing in the journal BMC Medicine, said salt and chemicals used to preserve the meat may damage health. The British Heart Foundation suggested opting for leaner cuts of meat. The study followed people from 10 European countries for…

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How Doctors Die

How Doctors Die

This article was written by KEN MURRAY, MD Years ago, Charlie, a highly respected orthopedist and a mentor of mine, found a lump in his stomach. He had a surgeon explore the area, and the diagnosis was pancreatic cancer. This surgeon was one of the best in the country. He had even invented a new procedure for this exact cancer that could triple a patient’s five-year-survival odds—from 5 percent to 15 percent—albeit with a poor quality of life. Charlie was uninterested….

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Stress can truly kill

Stress can truly kill

Emotional distress, also known as psychological distress, can increase the risk of death in the general population. Anecdotal evidence has shown that distress leads to a myriad of health disorders. [Psychol Med 1995;25(5):1073-86, Ann Epidemiol 2004;14:467-72] Emotional distress, a term referring to the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety, has been linked to an increased risk of premature mortality, cardiovascular disease, susceptibility to infection and, potentially, all cancers. [Psychol Med 1995;25(5):1073-86, Ann Epidemiol 2004;14:467-72] Signs and symptoms of depression…

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Why we should talk more about death

Why we should talk more about death

In this week’s Scrubbing Up opinion column, Prof Mayur Lakhani chair of the Dying Matters Coalition, urges doctors to be more open and frank about preparing patients and their families for the end of life. Imagine a situation where most people with a common condition are undiagnosed and where opportunities are repeatedly missed to identify the problem and to offer good care. What is this condition? It’s dying. Each year, an estimated 92,000 people in England are believed to need…

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Study shows physical inactivity kills 5 million a year

Study shows physical inactivity kills 5 million a year

PARIS — A third of the world’s adults are physically inactive, and the couch potato lifestyle kills about five million people every year, experts said in the medical journal The Lancet on Wednesday. “Roughly three of every 10 individuals aged 15 years or older — about 1.5 billion people — do not reach present physical activity recommendations,” they said in a report that described the problem as a “pandemic.” The picture for adolescents is even more worrying, with four out…

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