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Encyclopedia > Mortality

Death is either the cessation of life in a living organism or the state of the organism after that event. A common symbol of death is a grim reaper or the color black. The grave is a metonym for death. For other uses, see Life (disambiguation) and Living (disambiguation). ... In biology and ecology, an organism (in Greek organon = instrument) is a living being. ... Death, personified is an anthropomorphic figure or a fictional character who has existed in mythology and popular culture since the earliest days of storytelling. ... Grave has multiple meanings: A grave (SAMPA: [greIv]) is a place for the dead, see tomb, burial, grave (burial) A grave accent (SAMPA: [gra:v] (grahv) or [greIv]) is also a type of diacritical mark (as in French crème de la crème). ... In rhetoric and cognitive linguistics, metonymy (in Greek meta = after/later and onoma = name) is the use of a single characteristic to identify a more complex entity. ...


Biologically, death can occur to wholes, to parts of wholes, or to both. For example, it is possible for individual cells and even organs to die, and yet for the organism as a whole to continue to live; many individual cells can live for only a short time, and so most of an organism's cells are continually dying and being replaced by new ones. Cells in culture, stained for keratin (red) and DNA (green) The cell is the structural and functional unit of all living organisms. ... In biology, an organ is a group of tissues which perform some function. ...


Conversely it is also possible for the organism to die and for cells and organs to live and to be used for transplantation. In the latter case, though, the still-living tissues must be removed and transplanted quickly or they too will soon die without the support of their host. Rarely, cell cultures can be immortal as in the case of Henrietta Lacks HeLa cell line. An organ transplant is the transplantation of an organ (or part of one) from one body to another, for the purpose of replacing the recipients damaged or failing organ with a working one from the donor. ... Henrietta Lacks (1920-1951) HeLa cells Henrietta Lacks (August 18, 1920 - October 4, 1951) died of cervical cancer in 1951, at the age of 31. ... Hela is also the German name for Hel, Poland and the cruiser SMS Hela In biological and medical research, a HeLa cell is a cell which is derived from cervical cancer cells taken from a woman named Henrietta Lacks, who died from the cancer in 1951, and circulated (without Lacks...


Irreversibility is often cited as a key feature of death. Accordingly by definition it would not be possible to bring an organism back to life; if an organism lives, this implies that it has not died earlier, even if that seemed the case. Nonetheless, many people do not believe that death is always and necessarily irreversible; thus some have a religious belief in bodily or spiritual resurrection, while others have hope for the eventual prospects of cryonics or other technological means of reversing death. Religion, sometimes used interchangeably with faith, is commonly defined as belief concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine, and the practices and institutions associated with such belief. ... This article is about the religious meaning of the word Resurrection. For other meanings see Resurrection (disambiguation). ... Cryonics is the practice of preserving organisms, or at least their brains, for possible future revival by storing them at cryogenic temperatures where metabolism and decay are almost completely stopped. ...


It has been hypothesized that a limited lifespan is a consequence of evolution not selecting for extreme longevity in most species, as evolutionary selection only need apply to the organism up to the point of reproduction; after that, except for caring for kin, the continued existence of an individual can have little effect on the survival of its gene line. This article is about biological evolution. ... Longevity is long life or existence. ...

Contents

Human death: definitions and significance

By far the most important sort of death to human beings is human death. Thinking about human death raises a number of questions.


First, how can we identify the exact moment at which death has occurred? This seems important, because identifying that moment would allow us to put the correct time on death certificates, make sure that the deceased's will is enacted only after the deceased is truly deceased, and in general guide us regarding when to act as one should act toward a living person and when to act as one should toward a dead person. In particular, identifying the moment of death is important in cases of organ transplant, as organs must be harvested as quickly as possible after death. An organ transplant is the transplantation of an organ (or part of one) from one body to another, for the purpose of replacing the recipients damaged or failing organ with a working one from the donor. ...


Historically, attempts to define the exact moment of death have been problematic. Death was once defined as the cessation of heartbeat (cardiac arrest) and of breathing, for example, but the development of CPR and early defibrillation posed a challenge: either the definition of death was incorrect, or techniques had been discovered that really allowed one to reverse death (because, in some cases, breathing and heartbeat can be restarted). Generally, the first option was chosen. (Today this definition of death is known as "clinical death".) This page is about the muscular organ, the Heart. ... A cardiac arrest is the cessation of normal circulation of the blood due to failure of the ventricles of the heart to contract effectively during systole. ... For the play Breath by Samuel Beckett, see Breath (play). ... CPR on adult Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), is emergency first aid for an unconscious person on whom breathing and pulse cannot be detected. ... Typical view of the defibrillator operator. ... A cardiac arrest is the cessation of normal circulation of the blood due to failure of the ventricles of the heart to contract effectively during systole. ...


Today, where a definition of the moment of death is required, we usually turn to "brain death" or "biological death": people are considered dead when the electrical activity in their brain ceases. It is presumed that a stoppage of electrical activity indicates the end of consciousness. However, those maintaining that only the neo-cortex of the brain is necessary for consciousness sometimes argue that only electrical activity there should be considered when defining death. In most places the more conservative definition of death (cessation of electrical activity in the whole brain, as opposed to just in the neo-cortex) has been adopted (for example the Uniform Definition of Death Act in the United States). However, in all cases the common cause of death is anoxia. Brain death is defined as a complete and irreversible cessation of brain activity. ... Consciousness is a quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and ones environment. ... In the anatomy of animals, the neopallium or neocortex is a part of the telencephalon in the brain. ... Asphyxia is a condition of severely deficient supply of oxygen to the body. ...


Even in these cases, the determination of death can be difficult. EEGs can detect spurious electrical impulses when none exists, while there have been cases in which electrical activity in a living brain has been too low for EEGs to detect. Because of this, hospitals often have elaborate protocols for determining death involving EEGs at widely separated intervals.


Medical history contains many anecdotal references to people being declared dead by physicians and coming back to life, sometimes days later in their own coffin or when embalming procedures are about to get underway. Stories of people actually being buried alive (which must assume embalming has not occurred) led at least one inventor in the early 20th Century to design an alarm system that could be activated from within the coffin. Embalming, in most modern cultures, is a process used to temporarily preserve human remains to forestall decomposition and make it suitable for display at a funeral. ...


Because of the difficulties in determining death, under most emergency protocols, a first responder is not authorized to pronounce a patient dead; some police training manuals, for example, specifically state that a person is not to be assumed dead unless there is clear and obvious indications that death has occurred, such as decapitation or extreme damage to the body. If there is any possibility of life and in the absence of a do not resuscitate order, emergency workers must begin rescue and not end it until a patient has been brought to a hospital to be examined by a physician. This frequently leads to situation of a patient being pronounced dead on arrival. A certified first responder is a person who has completed forty to sixty hours of training in providing care for medical emergencies. ... Beheading. ... A DNR, or Do Not Resuscitate order, is a written order from a doctor that resuscitation should not be attempted if a person suffers cardiac or respiratory arrest. ... Dead on arrival or DOA is a notation that a patient was brought to a hospital and immediately pronounced dead by a physician. ...


It is also possible that death does not occur at a particular moment, but unfolds as a process over a period of time. Under this definition, the term "exact moment of death" loses meaning.


Cause of death in the United States

The cause of death in certain area and certain group of ages are different according to area and each group. In 2001 in U.S. the top 10 cause of death in medicine are: See drugs, medication, and pharmacology for substances that are used to treat patients. ...

Statistical data from: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lcod.htm) Coronary heart disease (CHD), also called coronary artery disease (CAD) and atherosclerotic heart disease, is the end result of the accumulation of atheromatous plaques within the walls of the arteries that supply the myocardium (the muscle of the heart). ... When normal cells are damaged or old they undergo apoptosis; cancer cells, however, avoid apoptosis. ... A stroke or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is suddenly interrupted by occlusion (an ischemic stroke- approximately 90%of strokes) or by hemorrhage (a hemorrhagic stroke - approximately 10% of strokes). ... Alternate meanings: Accident (fallacy), Accident (philosophy), Accident (movie), Accident, Maryland An accident is something going wrong. ... This article is about the disease that features high blood sugar. ... Negatively stained flu virions. ... Pneumonia (the ancient Greek word for lungs) is defined as an infection involving the alveoli of the lungs. ... Alzheimers disease (AD) or senile dementia of Alzheimers type is a neurodegenerative disease which results in a loss of mental functions due to the deterioration of brain tissue. ... Nephritis is inflammation of the kidney. ... Nephrotic syndrome is a disorder where the kidneys have been damaged, causing them to leak protein from the blood into the urine. ... Nephrosis is an old term for one of many non-inflammatory diseases of the kidneys. ... Sepsis (in Greek Σήψις) is a serious medical condition caused by a severe systemic infection leading to a systemic inflammatory response. ... Murder is both a legal and a moral term, that are not always coincident. ...


What happens to humans after death?

Second is the question of what, apart from the cessation of metabolism and the onset of physiological processes of decay, happens, especially to humans, during and after death (or "once dead", thinking of death as a permanent state). In particular, there is the question of what becomes of consciousness or the soul. Such questions are of long standing, and belief in an afterlife is common and ancient (see underworld). Speculation that any and all consciousness ceases to exist at death, and that death("after-life")itself is ultimately the same exact experience as prior to conception("before life")is common among atheist/agnostic thinkers. Conversely, religous belief in and information about an afterlife is a consolation in connection with the death of a beloved one or the prospect of one's own death. On the other hand, fear of hell or other negative consequences may make death worse. Human contemplation about death is an important motivation for the development of organized religion. Consciousness is a quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and ones environment. ... This page is about the core essence of a being. ... Afterlife (also known as life after death) is a generic term referring to a continuation of existence, typically spiritual and experiential, beyond this world, or after death. ... For other meanings of the word underworld see Underworld (disambiguation) In the study of mythology and religion, the underworld is a generic term approximately equivalent to the lay term afterlife, referring to any place to which newly-dead souls go. ... Medieval illustration of the Mouth of Hell Hell is, according to many religious beliefs about the afterlife, a place of torment, of great weeping and gnashing of teeth. ... Religion, sometimes used interchangeably with faith, is commonly defined as belief concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine, and the practices and institutions associated with such belief. ...


Traditions exist across most cultures to mourn the death of loved ones. Many archaeologists feel that the careful burials among Homo neanderthalensis, where ochre ornamented bodies were laid in carefully dug graves, is evidence of ritualised burial. This may indicate early religious belief which furthermore, might include a concept of an an afterlife. See the afterlife article for a more thorough treatment of these topics. Archaeology or sometimes in American English archeology (from the Greek words αρχαίος = ancient and λόγος = word/speech) is the study of human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of material remains, including architecture, artefacts, biofacts, human remains, and landscapes. ... Binomial name Homo neanderthalensis King, 1864 The Neanderthal or Neandertal was a species of genus Homo (Homo neanderthalensis) that inhabited Europe and parts of western Asia from about 230,000 to 29,000 years ago (in the Middle Palaeolithic, early Stone Age). ... Ochre (pronounced OAK-ur, from the Greek ochros, yellow) is a color, usually described as golden-yellow or light yellow brown. ... A ritual is a formalised, predetermined set of symbolic actions generally performed in a particular environment at a regular, recurring interval. ... Afterlife (also known as life after death) is a generic term referring to a continuation of existence, typically spiritual and experiential, beyond this world, or after death. ...


Physiological consequences of human death

For the human body, the physiological consequences of death follow a recognized sequence through early changes into bloating, then decay to changes after decay and finally skeletal remains.


The changes in the immediate post-death stage have received the most attention for two reasons - firstly it is the stage mostly likely to be seen by the living and secondly because of the research of forensics in potential crimes. Forensics or forensic science is the application of science to questions which are of interest to the legal system. ...


Soon after death (15 to 120 minutes depending on various factors) the body begins to cool (algor mortis), becomes pallid (pallor mortis), and internal sphincter muscles relax leading to the release of urine, feces, and stomach contents if the body is moved. The blood moves to pool in the lowest parts of the body, livor mortis (dependent lividity), within thirty minutes and then begins to coagulate. The body experiences muscle stiffening, rigor mortis, which peaks at around twelve hours after death and is gone in another twenty-four, depending on temperature. Within a day the body starts to show signs of decomposition (decay), both autolytic changes and from 'attacking' organisms - bacteria, fungi, insects, mammalian scavengers, etc. Internally the body structures begin to collapse, the skin loses integration with the underlying tissues, and bacterial action creates gases which cause bloating and swelling. The rate of decay is enormously variable; a body can be reduced to skeletal remains in days, or remain largely intact for thousands of years. Algor mortis (Latin: algor—coolness; mortis—death) is the reduction in body temperature following death. ... Livor mortis or postmortem lividity one of the signs of death, is a settling of the blood in the lower (dependent) portion of the body, causing a purplish red discoloration of the skin: when the heart is no longer agitating the blood, heavy red blood cells sink through the serum... Rigor mortis is a recognizable sign of death that is caused by a chemical change in the muscles, causing the limbs of the corpse to become stiff (rigor) and impossible to move or manipulate. ... Decomposition is the reduction of bodies and other formerly living organisms into simpler forms of matter; and most particularly to the fate of the body, after death. ... Decomposition is the reduction of bodies and other formerly living organisms into simpler forms of matter; and most particularly to the fate of the body, after death. ... In chemistry, autolysis is the production of a substance which catalyses the reaction it was made in. ...


In most cultures, before the onset of significant decay, the body is ritually disposed of, usually either cremated or deposited in a tomb, often a hole in the earth called a grave, but also in a sarcophagus, a crypt, sepulchre, or ossuary, a mound or barrow, or endlessly monumental surface structures, a mausoleum such as the Taj Mahal. In certain cultures efforts are made to retard the decay processes before burial, mummification or embalming. This happens during or after a funeral ceremony. Many funeral customs exist in different cultures. The crematorium at Haycombe Cemetery, Bath, England. ... A tomb is a small building (or vault) for the remains of the dead, with walls, a roof, and (if it is to be used for more than one corpse) a door. ... Grave has multiple meanings: A grave (SAMPA: [greIv]) is a place for the dead, see tomb, burial, grave (burial) A grave accent (SAMPA: [gra:v] (grahv) or [greIv]) is also a type of diacritical mark (as in French crème de la crème). ... A sarcophagus is a stone container for a coffin or body. ... In medieval terms, a crypt (from the Latin crypta and the Greek kryptē) is a stone chamber or vault, usually beneath the floor of a church, usually containing tombs of important people such as saints or saints relics. ... A sepulchre (also spelled sepulcher) is a burial chamber. ... An ossuary is a chest, building, well or site made to serve as the final resting place of human skeletal remains. ... A mausoleum is a large and impressive tomb, usually constructed for a deceased leader. ... This article is about the Indian monument. ... Two different meanings: The process of preparing a dead body for preservation; see: Mummy The practice of (sexually) restraining a living body. ... Embalming, in most modern cultures, is a process used to temporarily preserve human remains to forestall decomposition and make it suitable for display at a funeral. ... Underwater funeral in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea A funeral is a ceremony marking a persons death. ... Underwater funeral in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea A funeral is a ceremony marking a persons death. ...


A new alternative is "ecological burial": this involves subsequently deep-freezing, pulverisation by vibration, freeze-drying, removing metals, and burying the resulting powder, which has 30% of the body mass. [1] (http://www.promessa.se/sagardettill_en.asp) Freeze drying (also known as Lyophilization) is a dehydration process typically used to preserve a perishable material, or to make the material more convenient for transport. ...


Graves are usually grouped together in a plot of land called a "cemetery" or a "graveyard" and can arranged by a funeral home or undertaker or by a church. Graves at Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York A cemetery is a place (usually an enclosed area of land) in which dead bodies are buried. ... A funeral home is a place where a funeral is arranged. ... This article is about the vocation of a mortician and the death metal band; for the World Wrestling Entertainment superstar, see The Undertaker. ... This article is about the Christian buildings of worship. ...


Personification of death

Main article: Death (personification) From The Dance of Death by Hans Holbein Death, personified is an anthropomorphic figure or a fictional character who has existed in mythology and popular culture since the earliest days of storytelling. ...


Death is also a popular mythological figure who has existed in mythology and popular culture since the earliest days of storytelling. The traditional western image of Death, known as the Grim Reaper, is employed in modern culture on a tarot card and in various television and film works. A form of this personification is a major character in the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, with many of the novels centering around him as the main character. An unusual personification of Death appears in Neil Gaiman's Sandman graphic novels. Another famous appearance of death is in Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal, in which the protagonist plays a game of chess against Death on the beach - this scene is parodied in the film Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. From The Dance of Death by Hans Holbein Death, personified is an anthropomorphic figure or a fictional character who has existed in mythology and popular culture since the earliest days of storytelling. ... This article is about a system of myths. ... Death, personified is an anthropomorphic figure or a fictional character who has existed in mythology and popular culture since the earliest days of storytelling. ... Tarot (Tar-oh) is a system of symbolical images. ... For other uses see film (disambiguation) Film refers to the celluliod media on which movies are printed Film — also called movies, the cinema, the silver screen, moving pictures, photoplays, picture shows, flicks, or motion pictures, — is a field that encompasses motion pictures as an art form or as part of... The Discworld is a series of over 30 novels by Terry Pratchett set on the Discworld. ... Terence David John Pratchett OBE (known to some fans as Pterry) is an English fantasy author (born April 28, 1948, in Beaconsfield, Bucks), best known for his Discworld series. ... Spoiler warning: Death as illustrated by Chris Bachalo. ... Neil Richard Gaiman (born November 10, 1960 in Portchester, England) is the author of numerous science fiction and fantasy works, including many comic books. ... Cover of The Sandman #1, by Dave McKean. ... Ingmar Bergman (born July 14, 1918) is a Swedish film director. ... Det sjunde inseglet (The Seventh Seal) is a 1957 film directed by Ingmar Bergman, most notable for the scene in which a medieval knight (played by Max von Sydow) plays chess with the personification of Death, with his life resting on the outcome of the game. ... Bill and Teds Bogus Journey is a 1991 American comedy science fiction film, the sequel to Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure. ...


Mortality rate

The mortality rate is the measure of number of deaths per total number of persons in a given area and time. An example would be 2 deaths per 10,000 people per year. Mortality rate is the annual number of deaths per 1000 people. ...


See also

The English suffix -cide denotes an act related to killing or death. ... Afterlife (also known as life after death) is a generic term referring to a continuation of existence, typically spiritual and experiential, beyond this world, or after death. ... In biology, apoptosis (from the Greek words apo = from and ptosis = falling, pronounced ap-a-tow-sis[1]) is one of the main types of programmed cell death (PCD). ... For the former Death Metal band called Autopsy, see Autopsy (band). ... Belief in reincarnation is held by many Hindus, Buddhists, and Taoists but such beliefs are held by relatively few Christians, Jews, and Muslims. ... Brain death is defined as a complete and irreversible cessation of brain activity. ... By other animals Humans are not the only species to bury their dead. ... Graves at Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York A cemetery is a place (usually an enclosed area of land) in which dead bodies are buried. ... Clinical death is usually defined as the medical state in which it is impossible to revive a person with any technology at medicines disposal, in essence the complete and irreversible cessation of all body functions. ... An open coffin A coffin is a box used for the display and burial or cremation of a cadaver. ... For other meanings of the word coma, especially in astronomy, see coma (disambiguation) In medicine, a coma is a profound state of unconsciousness, which may result from a variety of conditions including intoxication (drug, alcohol or toxins), metabolic abnormalities (hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, ketoacidosis, etc. ... The crematorium at Haycombe Cemetery, Bath, England. ... Death from the Individual Thought Patterns CD-sleeve Death was an influential death metal band from America. ... Euthanasia (Greek, good death) is the practice of killing a person or animal, in a painless or minimally painful way, for merciful reasons, usually to end their suffering. ... For sarcastic or humourous phrases characterised as famous last words, not actual dying quotes, see the article Famous last words (sarcasm). ... Underwater funeral in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea A funeral is a ceremony marking a persons death. ... A hearse is a funeral vehicle, a conveyance for the coffin from e. ... Immortality is the concept of existing for a potentially infinite or indeterminate length of time. ... Karōshi (過労死) (pronounced /karo:Si/), which can be translated quite literally from the Japanese as death from overwork, is occupational sudden death. ... Life extension consists of attempts to extend human life beyond the maximum natural lifespan. ... Maternal death is the death of a woman in childbirth. ... A near-death experience (NDE) is the perception reported by a person who nearly died or who was clinically dead and revived. ... A persistent vegetative state (or PVS) is a condition of patients with severe brain damage in whom coma has progressed to a state of wakefulness without awareness. The term was introduced by two doctors in 1972 to describe a syndrome that seemed to have been made possible by medicines... Post mortem interval (PMI) is the time that has elapsed since a person has died. ... Quantum immortality is the name for the speculation that the Everett many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that a conscious being cannot cease to be. ... Reincarnation, also called metempsychosis or transmigration of souls, is the rebirth in another body (after physical death), of some critical part of a persons personality or spirit. ... Terminal illness is a medical term popularized in the 20th century for an active and progressive disease which cannot be cured easily by popular medicinal practice. ... Thanatology is the scientific study of death. ... This is an index of lists of people who died, by cause of death, in alphabetical order of cause. ...

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Mortality rate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (347 words)
Mortality rate (the word mortality comes from mortal, which originates from Latin mors, death) is the annual number of deaths (from a disease or at general) per 1000 people.
The maternal mortality rate, the relationship between the number of maternal deaths due to childbearing and the number of live births or by the sum of live births and fetal deaths in a given year.
A more complete picture of mortality is given by a life table which summarises mortality separately at each age.
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