Death

Death is the permanent cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living organism.[1] Phenomena which commonly bring about death include aging, predation, malnutrition, disease, suicide, homicide, starvation, dehydration, and accidents or major trauma resulting in terminal injury.[2] In most cases, bodies of living organisms begin to decompose shortly after death.[3]

Death – particularly the death of humans – has commonly been considered a sad or unpleasant occasion, due to the affection for the being that has died and the termination of social and familial bonds with the deceased. Other concerns include fear of death, necrophobia, anxiety, sorrow, grief, emotional pain, depression, sympathy, compassion, solitude, or saudade. Many cultures and religions have the idea of an afterlife, and also hold the idea of reward or judgement and punishment for past sin.

CathedralOfTrier Skeleton
Statue of Death, personified as a human skeleton dressed in a shroud and clutching a scythe, from the Cathedral of Trier in Trier, Germany

Etymology

The word death comes from Old English dēaþ, which in turn comes from Proto-Germanic *dauþuz (reconstructed by etymological analysis). This comes from the Proto-Indo-European stem *dheu- meaning the "process, act, condition of dying".[4]

Associated terms

Leonardo Skeleton 1511
Study of Skeletons, c. 1510, by Leonardo da Vinci

The concept and symptoms of death, and varying degrees of delicacy used in discussion in public forums, have generated numerous scientific, legal, and socially acceptable terms or euphemisms for death. When a person has died, it is also said they have passed away, passed on, expired, or are gone, among numerous other socially accepted, religiously specific, slang, and irreverent terms. Bereft of life, the dead person is then a corpse, cadaver, a body, a set of remains, and when all flesh has rotted away, a skeleton. The terms carrion and carcass can also be used, though these more often connote the remains of non-human animals. As a polite reference to a dead person, it has become common practice to use the participle form of "decease", as in the deceased; another noun form is decedent. The ashes left after a cremation are sometimes referred to by the neologism cremains, a portmanteau of "cremation" and "remains".

Senescence

Senescence refers to a scenario when a living being is able to survive all calamities, but eventually dies due to causes relating to old age. Animal and plant cells normally reproduce and function during the whole period of natural existence, but the aging process derives from deterioration of cellular activity and ruination of regular functioning. Aptitude of cells for gradual deterioration and mortality means that cells are naturally sentenced to stable and long-term loss of living capacities, even despite continuing metabolic reactions and viability. In the United Kingdom, for example, nine out of ten of all the deaths that occur on a daily basis relates to senescence, while around the world it accounts for two-thirds of 150,000 deaths that take place daily (Hayflick & Moody, 2003).

Almost all animals who survive external hazards to their biological functioning eventually die from biological aging, known in life sciences as "senescence". Some organisms experience negligible senescence, even exhibiting biological immortality. These include the jellyfish Turritopsis dohrnii,[5] the hydra, and the planarian. Unnatural causes of death include suicide and homicide. From all causes, roughly 150,000 people die around the world each day.[6] Of these, two thirds die directly or indirectly due to senescence, but in industrialized countries – such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany – the rate approaches 90% (i.e., nearly nine out of ten of all deaths are related to senescence).[6]

Physiological death is now seen as a process, more than an event: conditions once considered indicative of death are now reversible.[7] Where in the process a dividing line is drawn between life and death depends on factors beyond the presence or absence of vital signs. In general, clinical death is neither necessary nor sufficient for a determination of legal death. A patient with working heart and lungs determined to be brain dead can be pronounced legally dead without clinical death occurring. As scientific knowledge and medicine advance, formulating a precise medical definition of death becomes more difficult.[8]

Diagnosis

All causes world map-Deaths per million persons-WHO2012
World Health Organization estimated number of deaths per million persons in 2012
  1,054–4,598
  4,599–5,516
  5,517–6,289
  6,290–6,835
  6,836–7,916
  7,917–8,728
  8,729–9,404
  9,405–10,433
  10,434–12,233
  12,234–17,141

Signs

Signs of death or strong indications that a warm-blooded animal is no longer alive are:

Problems of definition

StillLifeWithASkull
A flower, a skull and an hourglass stand for life, death and time in this 17th-century painting by Philippe de Champaigne
French - Pendant with a Monk and Death - Walters 71461
French – 16th-/17th-century ivory pendant, Monk and Death, recalling mortality and the certainty of death (Walters Art Museum)

The concept of death is a key to human understanding of the phenomenon.[9] There are many scientific approaches to the concept. For example, brain death, as practiced in medical science, defines death as a point in time at which brain activity ceases.[9][10][11][12]

One of the challenges in defining death is in distinguishing it from life. As a point in time, death would seem to refer to the moment at which life ends. Determining when death has occurred is difficult, as cessation of life functions is often not simultaneous across organ systems.[13] Such determination therefore requires drawing precise conceptual boundaries between life and death. This is difficult, due to there being little consensus on how to define life. This general problem applies to the particular challenge of defining death in the context of medicine.

It is possible to define life in terms of consciousness. When consciousness ceases, a living organism can be said to have died. One of the flaws in this approach is that there are many organisms which are alive but probably not conscious (for example, single-celled organisms). Another problem is in defining consciousness, which has many different definitions given by modern scientists, psychologists and philosophers. Additionally, many religious traditions, including Abrahamic and Dharmic traditions, hold that death does not (or may not) entail the end of consciousness. In certain cultures, death is more of a process than a single event. It implies a slow shift from one spiritual state to another.[14]

Other definitions for death focus on the character of cessation of something.[15] In this context "death" describes merely the state where something has ceased, for example, life. Thus, the definition of "life" simultaneously defines death.

Historically, attempts to define the exact moment of a human's death have been subjective, or imprecise. Death was once defined as the cessation of heartbeat (cardiac arrest) and of breathing, but the development of CPR and prompt defibrillation have rendered that definition inadequate because breathing and heartbeat can sometimes be restarted. Events which were causally linked to death in the past no longer kill in all circumstances; without a functioning heart or lungs, life can sometimes be sustained with a combination of life support devices, organ transplants and artificial pacemakers.

Today, where a definition of the moment of death is required, doctors and coroners usually turn to "brain death" or "biological death" to define a person as being dead; people are considered dead when the electrical activity in their brain ceases. It is presumed that an end of electrical activity indicates the end of consciousness. Suspension of consciousness must be permanent, and not transient, as occurs during certain sleep stages, and especially a coma. In the case of sleep, EEGs can easily tell the difference.

The category of "brain death" is seen as problematic by some scholars. For instance, Dr. Franklin Miller, senior faculty member at the Department of Bioethics, National Institutes of Health, notes: "By the late 1990s... the equation of brain death with death of the human being was increasingly challenged by scholars, based on evidence regarding the array of biological functioning displayed by patients correctly diagnosed as having this condition who were maintained on mechanical ventilation for substantial periods of time. These patients maintained the ability to sustain circulation and respiration, control temperature, excrete wastes, heal wounds, fight infections and, most dramatically, to gestate fetuses (in the case of pregnant "brain-dead" women)."[16]

Those people maintaining that only the neo-cortex of the brain is necessary for consciousness sometimes argue that only electrical activity should be considered when defining death. Eventually it is possible that the criterion for death will be the permanent and irreversible loss of cognitive function, as evidenced by the death of the cerebral cortex. All hope of recovering human thought and personality is then gone given current and foreseeable medical technology. At present, in most places the more conservative definition of death – irreversible cessation of electrical activity in the whole brain, as opposed to just in the neo-cortex – has been adopted (for example the Uniform Determination Of Death Act in the United States). In 2005, the Terri Schiavo case brought the question of brain death and artificial sustenance to the front of American politics.

Even by whole-brain criteria, the determination of brain death can be complicated. EEGs can detect spurious electrical impulses, while certain drugs, hypoglycemia, hypoxia, or hypothermia can suppress or even stop brain activity on a temporary basis. Because of this, hospitals have protocols for determining brain death involving EEGs at widely separated intervals under defined conditions.

Legal

The death of a person has legal consequences that may vary between different jurisdictions. A death certificate is issued in most jurisdictions, either by a doctor, or by an administrative office upon presentation of a doctor's declaration of death.

Misdiagnosed

Wiertz burial
Antoine Wiertz's painting of a man buried alive

There are many anecdotal references to people being declared dead by physicians and then "coming back to life", sometimes days later in their own coffin, or when embalming procedures are about to begin. From the mid-18th century onwards, there was an upsurge in the public's fear of being mistakenly buried alive,[17] and much debate about the uncertainty of the signs of death. Various suggestions were made to test for signs of life before burial, ranging from pouring vinegar and pepper into the corpse's mouth to applying red hot pokers to the feet or into the rectum.[18] Writing in 1895, the physician J.C. Ouseley claimed that as many as 2,700 people were buried prematurely each year in England and Wales, although others estimated the figure to be closer to 800.[19]

In cases of electric shock, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for an hour or longer can allow stunned nerves to recover, allowing an apparently dead person to survive. People found unconscious under icy water may survive if their faces are kept continuously cold until they arrive at an emergency room.[20] In science fiction scenarios where such technology is readily available, real death is distinguished from reversible death.

Cause

The leading cause of human death in developing countries is infectious disease. The leading causes in developed countries are atherosclerosis (heart disease and stroke), cancer, and other diseases related to obesity and aging. By an extremely wide margin, the largest unifying cause of death in the developed world is biological aging,[6] leading to various complications known as aging-associated diseases. These conditions cause loss of homeostasis, leading to cardiac arrest, causing loss of oxygen and nutrient supply, causing irreversible deterioration of the brain and other tissues. Of the roughly 150,000 people who die each day across the globe, about two thirds die of age-related causes.[6] In industrialized nations, the proportion is much higher, approaching 90%.[6] With improved medical capability, dying has become a condition to be managed. Home deaths, once commonplace, are now rare in the developed world.

Lewis Hine, Newsies smoking at Skeeter's Branch, St. Louis, 1910
American children smoking in 1910. Tobacco smoking caused an estimated 100 million deaths in the 20th century.[21]

In developing nations, inferior sanitary conditions and lack of access to modern medical technology makes death from infectious diseases more common than in developed countries. One such disease is tuberculosis, a bacterial disease which killed 1.8M people in 2015.[22] Malaria causes about 400–900M cases of fever and 1–3M deaths annually.[23] AIDS death toll in Africa may reach 90–100M by 2025.[24][25]

According to Jean Ziegler (United Nations Special Reporter on the Right to Food, 2000 – Mar 2008), mortality due to malnutrition accounted for 58% of the total mortality rate in 2006. Ziegler says worldwide approximately 62M people died from all causes and of those deaths more than 36M died of hunger or diseases due to deficiencies in micronutrients.[26]

Tobacco smoking killed 100 million people worldwide in the 20th century and could kill 1 billion people around the world in the 21st century, a World Health Organization report warned.[21]

Many leading developed world causes of death can be postponed by diet and physical activity, but the accelerating incidence of disease with age still imposes limits on human longevity. The evolutionary cause of aging is, at best, only just beginning to be understood. It has been suggested that direct intervention in the aging process may now be the most effective intervention against major causes of death.[27]

Selye proposed a unified non-specific approach to many causes of death. He demonstrated that stress decreases adaptability of an organism and proposed to describe the adaptability as a special resource, adaptation energy. The animal dies when this resource is exhausted.[28] Selye assumed that the adaptability is a finite supply, presented at birth. Later on, Goldstone proposed the concept of a production or income of adaptation energy which may be stored (up to a limit), as a capital reserve of adaptation.[29] In recent works, adaptation energy is considered as an internal coordinate on the "dominant path" in the model of adaptation. It is demonstrated that oscillations of well-being appear when the reserve of adaptability is almost exhausted.[30]

In 2012, suicide overtook car crashes for leading causes of human injury deaths in the U.S., followed by poisoning, falls and murder.[31] Causes of death are different in different parts of the world. In high-income and middle income countries nearly half up to more than two thirds of all people live beyond the age of 70 and predominantly die of chronic diseases. In low-income countries, where less than one in five of all people reach the age of 70, and more than a third of all deaths are among children under 15, people predominantly die of infectious diseases.[32]

Autopsy

Rembrandt - The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp
An autopsy is portrayed in The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, by Rembrandt

An autopsy, also known as a postmortem examination or an obduction, is a medical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a human corpse to determine the cause and manner of a person's death and to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present. It is usually performed by a specialized medical doctor called a pathologist.

Autopsies are either performed for legal or medical purposes. A forensic autopsy is carried out when the cause of death may be a criminal matter, while a clinical or academic autopsy is performed to find the medical cause of death and is used in cases of unknown or uncertain death, or for research purposes. Autopsies can be further classified into cases where external examination suffices, and those where the body is dissected and an internal examination is conducted. Permission from next of kin may be required for internal autopsy in some cases. Once an internal autopsy is complete the body is generally reconstituted by sewing it back together. Autopsy is important in a medical environment and may shed light on mistakes and help improve practices.

A "necropsy" is an older term for a postmortem examination, unregulated, and not always a medical procedure. In modern times the term is more often used in the postmortem examination of the corpses of animals.

Cryonics

Cryo surgery
Technicians prepare a body for cryopreservation in 1985.

Cryonics (from Greek κρύος 'kryos-' meaning 'icy cold') is the low-temperature preservation of animals and humans who cannot be sustained by contemporary medicine, with the hope that healing and resuscitation may be possible in the future.[33][34]

Cryopreservation of people or large animals is not reversible with current technology. The stated rationale for cryonics is that people who are considered dead by current legal or medical definitions may not necessarily be dead according to the more stringent information-theoretic definition of death.[35][36]

Some scientific literature is claimed to support the feasibility of cryonics.[37] Medical science and cryobiologists generally regards cryonics with skepticism.[38]

Life extension

Life extension refers to an increase in maximum or average lifespan, especially in humans, by slowing down or reversing the processes of aging. Average lifespan is determined by vulnerability to accidents and age or lifestyle-related afflictions such as cancer, or cardiovascular disease. Extension of average lifespan can be achieved by good diet, exercise and avoidance of hazards such as smoking. Maximum lifespan is also determined by the rate of aging for a species inherent in its genes. Currently, the only widely recognized method of extending maximum lifespan is calorie restriction. Theoretically, extension of maximum lifespan can be achieved by reducing the rate of aging damage, by periodic replacement of damaged tissues, or by molecular repair or rejuvenation of deteriorated cells and tissues.

A United States poll found that religious people and irreligious people, as well as men and women and people of different economic classes have similar rates of support for life extension, while Africans and Hispanics have higher rates of support than white people.[39] 38 percent of the polled said they would desire to have their aging process cured.

Researchers of life extension are a subclass of biogerontologists known as "biomedical gerontologists". They try to understand the nature of aging and they develop treatments to reverse aging processes or to at least slow them down, for the improvement of health and the maintenance of youthful vigor at every stage of life. Those who take advantage of life extension findings and seek to apply them upon themselves are called "life extensionists" or "longevists". The primary life extension strategy currently is to apply available anti-aging methods in the hope of living long enough to benefit from a complete cure to aging once it is developed.

Reperfusion

"One of medicine's new frontiers: treating the dead", recognizes that cells that have been without oxygen for more than five minutes die,[40] not from lack of oxygen, but rather when their oxygen supply is resumed. Therefore, practitioners of this approach, e.g., at the Resuscitation Science institute at the University of Pennsylvania, "aim to reduce oxygen uptake, slow metabolism and adjust the blood chemistry for gradual and safe reperfusion."[41]

Location

Before about 1930, most people in Western countries died in their own homes, surrounded by family, and comforted by clergy, neighbors, and doctors making house calls.[42] By the mid-20th century, half of all Americans died in a hospital.[43] By the start of the 21st century, only about 20 to 25% of people in developed countries died outside a medical institution.[43][44][45] The shift away from dying at home, towards dying in a professionalized medical environment, has been termed the "Invisible Death".[43] The "Invisible Death" process was extremely slow and infinitesimal. It took many years to shift to this new location where dying was commonly taking place outside the home.[46]

Society and culture

Hertig Karl skymfande Klaus Flemings lik, målning av Albert Edelfelt från 1878
The regent duke Charles (later king Charles IX of Sweden) insulting the corpse of Klaus Fleming. Albert Edelfelt, 1878.
Placid death
Dead bodies can be mummified either naturally, as this one from Guanajuato, or by intention, as those in ancient Egypt.

In society, the nature of death and humanity's awareness of its own mortality has for millennia been a concern of the world's religious traditions and of philosophical inquiry. This includes belief in resurrection or an afterlife (associated with Abrahamic religions), reincarnation or rebirth (associated with Dharmic religions), or that consciousness permanently ceases to exist, known as eternal oblivion (associated with atheism).[47]

Commemoration ceremonies after death may include various mourning, funeral practices and ceremonies of honouring the deceased. The physical remains of a person, commonly known as a corpse or body, are usually interred whole or cremated, though among the world's cultures there are a variety of other methods of mortuary disposal. In the English language, blessings directed towards a dead person include rest in peace, or its initialism RIP.

Death is the center of many traditions and organizations; customs relating to death are a feature of every culture around the world. Much of this revolves around the care of the dead, as well as the afterlife and the disposal of bodies upon the onset of death. The disposal of human corpses does, in general, begin with the last offices before significant time has passed, and ritualistic ceremonies often occur, most commonly interment or cremation. This is not a unified practice; in Tibet, for instance, the body is given a sky burial and left on a mountain top. Proper preparation for death and techniques and ceremonies for producing the ability to transfer one's spiritual attainments into another body (reincarnation) are subjects of detailed study in Tibet.[48] Mummification or embalming is also prevalent in some cultures, to retard the rate of decay.

Legal aspects of death are also part of many cultures, particularly the settlement of the deceased estate and the issues of inheritance and in some countries, inheritance taxation.

Grave stone2
Gravestones in Kyoto, Japan

Capital punishment is also a culturally divisive aspect of death. In most jurisdictions where capital punishment is carried out today, the death penalty is reserved for premeditated murder, espionage, treason, or as part of military justice. In some countries, sexual crimes, such as adultery and sodomy, carry the death penalty, as do religious crimes such as apostasy, the formal renunciation of one's religion. In many retentionist countries, drug trafficking is also a capital offense. In China, human trafficking and serious cases of corruption are also punished by the death penalty. In militaries around the world courts-martial have imposed death sentences for offenses such as cowardice, desertion, insubordination, and mutiny.[49]

Death in warfare and in suicide attack also have cultural links, and the ideas of dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, mutiny punishable by death, grieving relatives of dead soldiers and death notification are embedded in many cultures. Recently in the western world, with the increase in terrorism following the September 11 attacks, but also further back in time with suicide bombings, kamikaze missions in World War II and suicide missions in a host of other conflicts in history, death for a cause by way of suicide attack, and martyrdom have had significant cultural impacts.

Suicide in general, and particularly euthanasia, are also points of cultural debate. Both acts are understood very differently in different cultures. In Japan, for example, ending a life with honor by seppuku was considered a desirable death, whereas according to traditional Christian and Islamic cultures, suicide is viewed as a sin. Death is personified in many cultures, with such symbolic representations as the Grim Reaper, Azrael, the Hindu God Yama and Father Time.

In Brazil, a human death is counted officially when it is registered by existing family members at a cartório, a government-authorized registry. Before being able to file for an official death, the deceased must have been registered for an official birth at the cartório. Though a Public Registry Law guarantees all Brazilian citizens the right to register deaths, regardless of their financial means, of their family members (often children), the Brazilian government has not taken away the burden, the hidden costs and fees, of filing for a death. For many impoverished families, the indirect costs and burden of filing for a death lead to a more appealing, unofficial, local, cultural burial, which in turn raises the debate about inaccurate mortality rates.[50]

Talking about death and witnessing it is a difficult issue with most cultures. Western societies may like to treat the dead with the utmost material respect, with an official embalmer and associated rites. Eastern societies (like India) may be more open to accepting it as a fait accompli, with a funeral procession of the dead body ending in an open air burning-to-ashes of the same.

Consciousness

Much interest and debate surround the question of what happens to one's consciousness as one's body dies. The belief in the permanent loss of consciousness after death is often called eternal oblivion. Belief that the stream of consciousness is preserved after physical death is described by the term afterlife. Neither are likely to ever be confirmed without the ponderer having to actually die.

In biology

Earthworm
Earthworms are a good example of soil-dwelling detritivores.

After death the remains of an organism become part of the biogeochemical cycle. Animals may be consumed by a predator or a scavenger. Organic material may then be further decomposed by detritivores, organisms which recycle detritus, returning it to the environment for reuse in the food chain, where these chemicals may eventually end up being consumed and assimilated into the cells of a living organism. Examples of detritivores include earthworms, woodlice and dung beetles.

Microorganisms also play a vital role, raising the temperature of the decomposing matter as they break it down into yet simpler molecules. Not all materials need to be decomposed fully. Coal, a fossil fuel formed over vast tracts of time in swamp ecosystems, is one example.

Natural selection

Contemporary evolutionary theory sees death as an important part of the process of natural selection. It is considered that organisms less adapted to their environment are more likely to die having produced fewer offspring, thereby reducing their contribution to the gene pool. Their genes are thus eventually bred out of a population, leading at worst to extinction and, more positively, making the process possible, referred to as speciation. Frequency of reproduction plays an equally important role in determining species survival: an organism that dies young but leaves numerous offspring displays, according to Darwinian criteria, much greater fitness than a long-lived organism leaving only one.

Extinction

ExtinctDodoBird.jpeg
A dodo, the bird that became a byword in the English language for the extinction of a species[51]

Extinction is the cessation of existence of a species or group of taxa, reducing biodiversity. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of that species (although the capacity to breed and recover may have been lost before this point). Because a species' potential range may be very large, determining this moment is difficult, and is usually done retrospectively. This difficulty leads to phenomena such as Lazarus taxa, where species presumed extinct abruptly "reappear" (typically in the fossil record) after a period of apparent absence. New species arise through the process of speciation, an aspect of evolution. New varieties of organisms arise and thrive when they are able to find and exploit an ecological niche – and species become extinct when they are no longer able to survive in changing conditions or against superior competition.

Evolution of aging and mortality

Inquiry into the evolution of aging aims to explain why so many living things and the vast majority of animals weaken and die with age (exceptions include Hydra and the already cited jellyfish Turritopsis dohrnii, which research shows to be biologically immortal). The evolutionary origin of senescence remains one of the fundamental puzzles of biology. Gerontology specializes in the science of human aging processes.

Organisms showing only asexual reproduction (e.g. bacteria, some protists, like the euglenoids and many amoebozoans) and unicellular organisms with sexual reproduction (colonial or not, like the volvocine algae Pandorina and Chlamydomonas) are "immortal" at some extent, dying only due to external hazards, like being eaten or meeting with a fatal accident. In multicellular organisms (and also in multinucleate ciliates),[52] with a Weismannist development, that is, with a division of labor between mortal somatic (body) cells and "immortal" germ (reproductive) cells, death becomes an essential part of life, at least for the somatic line.[53]

The Volvox algae are among the simplest organisms to exhibit that division of labor between two completely different cell types, and as a consequence include death of somatic line as a regular, genetically regulated part of its life history.[53][54]

Religious views

Death is an important subject of religious doctrine.

Buddhism

In Buddhist doctrine and practice, death plays an important role. Awareness of death was what motivated Prince Siddhartha to strive to find the "deathless" and finally to attain enlightenment. In Buddhist doctrine, death functions as a reminder of the value of having been born as a human being. Being reborn as a human being is considered the only state in which one can attain enlightenment, therefore death helps remind oneself that one should not that for granted. The belief in rebirth among Buddhists does not necessarily remove death anxiety, since all existence in the cycle of rebirth is considered filled with suffering, and being reborn many times does not necessarily mean that one progresses.[55]

Death is part of several key Buddhist tenets, such as the Four Noble Truths and dependent origination.[55]

Judaism

Yahrtzeit candle
A yahrtzeit candle lit in memory of a loved one on the anniversary of the death

Death is seen in Judaism as tragic and intimidating. Persons who come into contact with corpses are ritually impure. There are a variety of beliefs about the afterlife within Judaism, but none of them contradict the preference of life over death. This is partially because death puts a cessation to the possibility of fulfilling any commandments.[56]

See also

References

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Bibliography

  • Bondeson, Jan (2001). Buried Alive: the Terrifying History of our Most Primal Fear. W.W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-04906-0.
  • Mullin, Glenn H. (2008) [1998]. Living in the Face of Death: The Tibetan Tradition. Ithaca, New York: Snow Lion Publications. ISBN 978-1-55939-310-2.

Further reading

External links

  • Death at Curlie
  • "Death". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. 2016.
Preceded by
Old age
Stages of human development
Death
Succeeded by
Decomposition
Black Death

The Black Death, also known as the Great Plague, the Black Plague, or simply the Plague, was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia and peaking in Europe from 1347 to 1351. The bacterium Yersinia pestis, which results in several forms of plague, is believed to have been the cause. The Black Death was the first major European outbreak of the second plague pandemic. The plague created a series of religious, social and economic upheavals, which had profound effects on the course of European history.

The Black Death is thought to have originated in the dry plains of Central Asia, where it travelled along the Silk Road, reaching Crimea by 1343. From there, it was most likely carried by Oriental rat fleas living on the black rats that were regular passengers on merchant ships, spreading throughout the Mediterranean Basin and Europe.

The Black Death is estimated to have killed 30–60% of Europe's total population. In total, the plague may have reduced the world population from an estimated 450 million down to 350–375 million in the 14th century. It took 200 years for the world population to recover to its previous level. The plague recurred as outbreaks in Europe until the 19th century.

Bubonic plague

Bubonic plague is one of three types of plague caused by bacterium Yersinia pestis. One to seven days after exposure to the bacteria, flu-like symptoms develop. These symptoms include fever, headaches, and vomiting. Swollen and painful lymph nodes occur in the area closest to where the bacteria entered the skin. Occasionally, the swollen lymph nodes may break open.The three types of plague are the result of the route of infection: bubonic plague, septicemic plague, and pneumonic plague. Bubonic plague is mainly spread by infected fleas from small animals. It may also result from exposure to the body fluids from a dead plague-infected animal. In the bubonic form of plague, the bacteria enter through the skin through a flea bite and travel via the lymphatic vessels to a lymph node, causing it to swell. Diagnosis is made by finding the bacteria in the blood, sputum, or fluid from lymph nodes.Prevention is through public health measures such as not handling dead animals in areas where plague is common. Vaccines have not been found to be very useful for plague prevention. Several antibiotics are effective for treatment, including streptomycin, gentamicin, and doxycycline. Without treatment, plague results in the death of 30% to 90% of those infected. Death, if it occurs, is typically within ten days. With treatment the risk of death is around 10%. Globally there are about 650 documented cases a year, which result in ~120 deaths. In the 21st century, the disease is most common in Africa.The plague is believed to be the cause of the Black Death that swept through Asia, Europe, and Africa in the 14th century and killed an estimated 50 million people. This was about 25% to 60% of the European population. Because the plague killed so many of the working population, wages rose due to the demand for labor. Some historians see this as a turning point in European economic development. The term bubonic is derived from the Greek word βουβών, meaning "groin". The term "buboes" is also used to refer to the swollen lymph nodes.

Capital punishment

Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is a government-sanctioned practice whereby a person is killed by the state as a punishment for a crime. The sentence that someone be punished in such a manner is referred to as a death sentence, whereas the act of carrying out the sentence is known as an execution. Crimes that are punishable by death are known as capital crimes or capital offences, and they commonly include offences such as murder, mass murder, terrorism, treason, espionage, offenses against the State, such as attempting to overthrow government, piracy, drug trafficking, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, but may include a wide range of offences depending on a country. Etymologically, the term capital (lit. "of the head", derived via the Latin capitalis from caput, "head") in this context alluded to execution by beheading.Fifty-six countries retain capital punishment, 106 countries have completely abolished it de jure for all crimes, eight have abolished it for ordinary crimes (while maintaining it for special circumstances such as war crimes), and 28 are abolitionist in practice.Capital punishment is a matter of active controversy in several countries and states, and positions can vary within a single political ideology or cultural region. In the European Union, Article 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union prohibits the use of capital punishment. The Council of Europe, which has 47 member states, has sought to abolish the use of the death penalty by its members absolutely, through Protocol 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights. However, this only affects those member states which have signed and ratified it, and they do not include Armenia, Russia, and Azerbaijan.

The United Nations General Assembly has adopted, in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014, non-binding resolutions calling for a global moratorium on executions, with a view to eventual abolition. Although most nations have abolished capital punishment, over 60% of the world's population live in countries where the death penalty is retained, such as China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, among all mostly Islamic countries, as is maintained in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Sri Lanka. China executes more people than all other countries combined.

Capital punishment in the United States

Capital punishment is a legal penalty in the United States, currently used by 30 states, the federal government, and the military. Its existence can be traced to the beginning of the American colonies. The United States is the only Western country currently applying the death penalty. It is one of 54 countries worldwide applying it, and was the first to develop lethal injection as a method of execution, which has since been adopted by five other countries. The Philippines has since abolished executions, and Guatemala has done so for civil offenses, leaving the USA one of 4 countries to use this method, along with China, Thailand, and Vietnam.

There were no executions in the United States between 1967 and 1977. In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down capital punishment statutes in Furman v. Georgia, reducing all death sentences pending at the time to life imprisonment.Subsequently, a majority of states passed new death penalty statutes, and the court affirmed the legality of capital punishment in the 1976 case Gregg v. Georgia. Since then, more than 7,800 defendants have been sentenced to death; of these, more than 1,400 have been executed. A total of 161 who were sentenced to death in the modern era were exonerated before their execution. As of April 1, 2018, 2,743 are still on death row.

Crucifixion of Jesus

The crucifixion of Jesus occurred in 1st-century Judea, most likely between AD 30 and 33. Jesus' crucifixion is described in the four canonical gospels, referred to in the New Testament epistles, attested to by other ancient sources, and is established as a historical event confirmed by non-Christian sources, although there is no consensus among historians on the exact details.According to the canonical gospels, Jesus was arrested and tried by the Sanhedrin, and then sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally crucified by the Romans. Jesus was stripped of his clothing and offered wine mixed with myrrh or gall to drink after saying I am thirsty. He was then hung between two convicted thieves and, according to the Gospel of Mark, died some six hours later. During this time, the soldiers affixed a sign to the top of the cross stating "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" which, according to the Gospel of John, was written in three languages. They then divided his garments among themselves and cast lots for his seamless robe, according to the Gospel of John. According to the Gospel of John after Jesus' death, one soldier pierced his side with a spear to be certain that he had died, then blood and water gushed. The Bible describes seven statements that Jesus made while he was on the cross, as well as several supernatural events that occurred.

Collectively referred to as the Passion, Jesus' suffering and redemptive death by crucifixion are the central aspects of Christian theology concerning the doctrines of salvation and atonement.

Death Note

Death Note (Japanese: デスノート, Hepburn: Desu Nōto) is a Japanese manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. The story follows Light Yagami, a high school student who stumbles across a mysterious otherworldly notebook: the "Death Note", which belonged to the Shinigami Ryuk, and grants its user the power to kill anyone whose name and face they know. The series centers around Light's subsequent attempts to use the Death Note to change the world into a utopian society without crime as a god-like vigilante named "Kira" and the subsequent efforts of an elite task-force of law enforcement officials, consisting of members of the Japanese police agency led by L, an enigmatic international detective, to apprehend him and end his reign of terror.

Death Note was first serialized in Shueisha's manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 2003 to May 2006. The 108 chapters were collected and published into 12 tankōbon volumes between April 2004 and July 2006. An anime television adaptation aired in Japan from October 3, 2006, to June 26, 2007. Composed of 37 episodes, the anime was developed by Madhouse and directed by Tetsurō Araki. A light novel based on the series, written by Nisio Isin, was also released in 2006. Additionally, various video games have been published by Konami for the Nintendo DS. The series was adapted into three live action films released in Japan on June 17, 2006, November 3, 2006, and February 2, 2008, and a television drama in 2015. A miniseries entitled Death Note: New Generation and a fourth film were released in 2016. An American film adaptation was released on Netflix on August 24, 2017.

Death Note media is licensed and released in North America by Viz Media, with the exception of the video games and soundtracks. The episodes from the anime first appeared in North America as downloadable from IGN, before Viz Media licensed it and it aired on YTV's Bionix anime block in Canada and on Adult Swim in the United States with a DVD release following. The live-action films briefly played in certain North American theaters in 2008, before receiving home video releases. In 2015, the collected volumes of the Death Note manga had over 30 million copies in circulation.

Death metal

Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. It typically employs heavily distorted and low-tuned guitars, played with techniques such as palm muting and tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, aggressive, powerful drumming featuring double kick and blast beat techniques, minor keys or atonality, abrupt tempo, key, and time signature changes, and chromatic chord progressions. The lyrical themes of death metal may invoke slasher film-stylized violence, religion (sometimes Satanism), occultism, Lovecraftian horror, nature, mysticism, mythology, philosophy, science fiction, and politics, and they may describe extreme acts, including mutilation, dissection, torture, rape, cannibalism, and necrophilia.

Building from the musical structure of thrash metal and early black metal, death metal emerged during the mid-1980s. Bands such as Venom, Celtic Frost, Slayer, and Kreator were important influences on the genre's creation. Possessed, Death, Necrophagia, Obituary, Autopsy, and Morbid Angel are often considered pioneers of the genre. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, death metal gained more media attention as popular genre. Niche record labels like Combat, Earache, and Roadrunner began to sign death metal bands at a rapid rate.Since then, death metal has diversified, spawning several subgenres. Melodic death metal combines death metal elements with those of the new wave of British heavy metal. Technical death metal is a complex style, with uncommon time signatures, atypical rhythms, and unusual harmonies and melodies. Death-doom combines the deep growled vocals and double-kick drumming of death metal with the slow tempos and melancholic atmosphere of doom metal. Deathgrind, goregrind, and pornogrind mix the complexity of death metal with the intensity, speed, and brevity of grindcore. Deathcore combines death metal with metalcore traits. Death 'n' roll combines death metal's growled vocals and highly distorted, detuned guitar riffs with elements of 1970s hard rock and heavy metal.

Death of Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden, the founder and first leader of the Islamist group Al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, shortly after 1:00 am PKT (20:00 UTC, May 1) by United States Navy SEALs of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group (also known as DEVGRU or SEAL Team Six). The operation, code-named Operation Neptune Spear, was carried out in a CIA-led operation with Joint Special Operations Command, commonly known as JSOC, coordinating the Special Mission Units involved in the raid. In addition to SEAL Team Six, participating units under JSOC included the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne)—also known as "Night Stalkers"—and operators from the CIA's Special Activities Division, which recruits heavily from former JSOC Special Mission Units. The operation ended a nearly 10-year search for bin Laden, following his role in the September 11 attacks on the United States.

The raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan was launched from Afghanistan. U.S. military officials said that after the raid U.S. forces took bin Laden's body to Afghanistan for identification, then buried him at sea within 24 hours of his death in accordance with Islamic tradition.Al-Qaeda confirmed the death on May 6 with posts made on militant websites, vowing to avenge the killing. Other Pakistani militant groups, including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, vowed retaliation against the U.S. and against Pakistan for not preventing the operation. The raid was supported by over 90% of the American public, was welcomed by the United Nations, NATO, the European Union and a large number of governments, but was condemned by others, including two-thirds of the Pakistani public. Legal and ethical aspects of the killing, such as his not being taken alive despite being unarmed, were questioned by others, including Amnesty International. Also controversial was the decision not to release any photographic or DNA evidence of bin Laden's death to the public.In the aftermath of the killing, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani formed a commission under Senior Justice Javed Iqbal to investigate the circumstances surrounding the attack. The resulting Abbottabad Commission Report, which revealed Pakistani state military and intelligence authorities' "collective failure" that enabled bin Laden to hide in Pakistan for nine years, was leaked to Al Jazeera on July 8, 2013.

Electric chair

Execution by electrocution, performed using an electric chair, is a method of execution originating in the United States in which the condemned person is strapped to a specially built wooden chair and electrocuted through electrodes fastened on the head and leg. This execution method, conceived in 1881 by a Buffalo, New York, dentist named Alfred P. Southwick, was developed throughout the 1880s as a "humane alternative" to hanging, and first used in 1890. This execution method has been used in the United States and, for a period of several decades, in the Philippines. While death was originally theorized to result from damage to the brain, it was eventually shown in 1899 that it primarily results from ventricular fibrillation and eventual cardiac arrest. Once the person was attached to the chair, various cycles (differing in voltage and duration) of alternating current would be passed through the individual's body, in order to cause fatal damage to the internal organs. The first, more powerful jolt of electric current is intended to cause immediate unconsciousness, ventricular fibrillation, and eventual cardiac arrest. The second, less powerful jolt is intended to cause fatal damage to the vital organs, where body temperatures can reach up to 100 °C (212 °F).Although the electric chair has long been a symbol of the death penalty in the United States, its use is in decline due to the rise of lethal injection, which is widely believed to be a more humane method of execution. While some states still maintain electrocution as a method of execution, today it is only maintained as a secondary method that may be chosen over lethal injection at the request of the prisoner, except in Tennessee, where it may be used if the drugs for lethal injection are not available, without input from the prisoner. As of 2014, electrocution is an optional form of execution in the states of Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, and Virginia, all of which allow the prisoner to choose lethal injection as an alternative method. In the state of Kentucky, the electric chair has been retired, except for those whose capital crimes were committed prior to March 31, 1998, and who choose electrocution; inmates who do not choose electrocution and inmates who committed their crimes after the designated date are executed by lethal injection. Electrocution is also authorized in Kentucky in the event that lethal injection is found unconstitutional by a court. In the U.S. state of Tennessee, the electric chair is available for use if lethal injection drugs are unavailable, or otherwise, if the inmate so chooses and if their capital crime was committed before 1999. The electric chair is an alternate form of execution approved for potential use in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma if other forms of execution are found unconstitutional in the state at the time of execution.

On February 8, 2008, the Nebraska Supreme Court determined that execution by electric chair was a "cruel and unusual punishment" under the state's constitution. This brought executions of this type to an end in Nebraska, the only remaining state to retain electrocution as its sole method of execution.

Euthanasia

Euthanasia (from Greek: εὐθανασία; "good death": εὖ, eu; "well" or "good" – θάνατος, thanatos; "death") is the practice of intentionally ending a life to relieve pain and suffering.There are different euthanasia laws in each country. The British House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics defines euthanasia as "a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life, to relieve intractable suffering". In the Netherlands and Belgium, euthanasia is understood as "termination of life by a doctor at the request of a patient". The Dutch law however, does not use the term 'euthanasia' but includes it under the broader definition of "assisted suicide and termination of life on request".Euthanasia is categorized in different ways, which include voluntary, non-voluntary, or involuntary. Voluntary euthanasia is legal in some countries. Non-voluntary euthanasia (patient's consent unavailable) is illegal in all countries. Involuntary euthanasia (without asking consent or against the patient's will) is also illegal in all countries and is usually considered murder. As of 2006, euthanasia is the most active area of research in contemporary bioethics. In some countries there is a divisive public controversy over the moral, ethical, and legal issues of euthanasia. Passive euthanasia (known as "pulling the plug") is legal under some circumstances in many countries. Active euthanasia however is legal or de facto legal in only a handful of countries (e.g. Belgium, Canada, Switzerland) and is limited to specific circumstances and the approval of councilors and doctors or other specialists. In some countries such as Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, support for active euthanasia is almost non-existent.

Heath Ledger

Heath Andrew Ledger (4 April 1979 – 22 January 2008) was an Australian actor and director. After performing roles in several Australian television and film productions during the 1990s, Ledger left for the United States in 1998 to further develop his film career. His work comprised nineteen films, including 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), The Patriot (2000), A Knight's Tale (2001), Monster's Ball (2001), Lords of Dogtown (2005), Brokeback Mountain (2005), Casanova (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009), the latter two being posthumous releases. He also produced and directed music videos and aspired to be a film director.For his portrayal of Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain, Ledger won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and Best International Actor from the Australian Film Institute, and was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and the Academy Award for Best Actor. Posthumously, he shared the 2007 Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award with the rest of the ensemble cast, the director, and the casting director for the film I'm Not There, which was inspired by the life and songs of American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. In the film, Ledger portrayed a fictional actor named Robbie Clark, one of six characters embodying aspects of Dylan's life and persona.Ledger died on 22 January 2008 from an accidental intoxication from prescription drugs. A few months before his death, Ledger had finished filming his performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. His death occurred during editing of The Dark Knight and in the midst of filming his last role as Tony in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. His untimely death cast a shadow over the subsequent promotion of the $185 million Batman production. Ledger received numerous posthumous accolades for his critically acclaimed performance in the film, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, a Best Actor International Award at the 2008 Australian Film Institute Awards, for which he became the first actor to win an award posthumously, the 2008 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor, the 2009 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, and the 2009 BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Jim Morrison

James Douglas Morrison (December 8, 1943 – July 3, 1971) was an American singer, songwriter and poet, best remembered as the lead vocalist of the rock band the Doors. Due to his poetic lyrics, distinctive voice, wild personality, performances, and the dramatic circumstances surrounding his life and early death, Morrison is regarded by music critics and fans as one of the most iconic and influential frontmen in rock music history. Since his death, his fame has endured as one of popular culture's most rebellious and oft-displayed icons, representing the generation gap and youth counterculture.Morrison co-founded the Doors during the summer of 1965 in Venice, California. The band spent two years in obscurity until shooting to prominence with their #1 single in the United States, "Light My Fire," taken from their self-titled debut album. Morrison recorded a total of six studio albums with the Doors, all of which sold well and received critical acclaim. Though the Doors recorded two more albums after Morrison died, his death severely affected the band's fortunes, and they split up in 1973. In 1993, Jim Morrison, as a member of the Doors, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Morrison was also well known for improvising spoken word poetry passages while the band played live. Morrison was ranked #47 on Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time," and number 22 on Classic Rock magazine's "50 Greatest Singers in Rock." Ray Manzarek, who co-founded the Doors with him, said Morrison "embodied hippie counterculture rebellion."Morrison developed an alcohol dependency during the 1960s, which at times affected his performances on stage. He died unexpectedly at the age of 27 in Paris. As no autopsy was performed, the cause of Morrison's death remains unknown.

Mac Miller

Malcolm James McCormick (January 19, 1992 – September 7, 2018), known professionally as Mac Miller, was an American rapper, singer, and record producer. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Miller began his career in the city's hip-hop scene in 2007, at the age of fifteen. He signed a record deal with Pittsburgh-based indie label Rostrum Records in 2010. His breakthrough came with the mixtapes K.I.D.S. (2010) and Best Day Ever (2011), including the single "Donald Trump".

Miller's debut studio album, Blue Slide Park (2011), reached number-one on the US Billboard 200, the first independently distributed debut album to top the chart since 1995. In early 2013, Miller launched his own record label imprint, REMember Music. After his second studio album, Watching Movies with the Sound Off (2013), he left Rostrum and signed a record deal with the major label Warner Bros. Records in October 2014. With them, he released three studio albums: GO:OD AM (2015), The Divine Feminine (2016), and Swimming (2018). He also served as a record producer under the pseudonym Larry Fisherman, producing music for SZA, Vince Staples, Lil B, Ab-Soul, Riff Raff, Smoke DZA, and himself. He was posthumously nominated for Best Rap Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards for Swimming.

Miller struggled with substance abuse, which was often referenced in his lyrics.

Murder

Murder is the unlawful killing of another human without justification or valid excuse, especially the unlawful killing of another human being with malice aforethought. This state of mind may, depending upon the jurisdiction, distinguish murder from other forms of unlawful homicide, such as manslaughter. Manslaughter is a killing committed in the absence of malice, brought about by reasonable provocation, or diminished capacity. Involuntary manslaughter, where it is recognized, is a killing that lacks all but the most attenuated guilty intent, recklessness.

Most societies consider murder to be an extremely serious crime, and thus believe that the person charged should receive harsh punishments for the purposes of retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, or incapacitation. In most countries, a person convicted of murder generally faces a long-term prison sentence, possibly a life sentence; and in a few, the death penalty may be imposed.

Necrophilia

Necrophilia, also known as necrophilism, necrolagnia, necrocoitus, necrochlesis, and thanatophilia, is a sexual attraction or sexual act involving corpses. It is classified as a paraphilia by ICD10 published by WHO and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association.Rosman and Resnick (1989) reviewed information from 34 cases of necrophilia describing the individuals' motivations for their behaviors: these individuals reported the desire to possess a non-resisting and non-rejecting partner (68%), reunions with a romantic partner (21%), sexual attraction to corpses (15%), comfort or overcoming feelings of isolation (15%), or seeking self-esteem by expressing power over a homicide victim (12%).

Paul Walker

Paul William Walker IV (September 12, 1973 – November 30, 2013) was an American actor best known for his role as Brian O'Conner in The Fast and the Furious franchise. Walker first gained prominence in 1999 with roles in the teen films She's All That and Varsity Blues. In 2001, he gained international fame for his role in the street racing action film The Fast and the Furious (2001), a role he reprised in five of the next six installments, but died in 2013 in the middle of filming Furious 7 (2015).

Walker began his career guest-starring on TV shows such as The Young and the Restless and Touched by an Angel. He later starred in films such as Joy Ride (2001), Timeline (2003), Into the Blue (2005), Eight Below (2006), and Running Scared (2006). He also appeared in the National Geographic series Expedition Great White (2010) and in ads for Davidoff Cool Water cologne. He founded the disaster-relief charity Reach Out Worldwide (ROWW) in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake.Walker died on November 30, 2013, at the age of 40 as a passenger in a single-car crash alongside friend and driver Roger Rodas. Walker was working on three films at the time of his death which were released posthumously: Hours (2013), Brick Mansions (2014), and Furious 7 (2015). The Wiz Khalifa song "See You Again", featuring Charlie Puth, was commissioned for the Furious 7 soundtrack as a tribute to Walker. It was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Original Song in 2015 and was the number-one song in the United States for 12 weeks.

PlayStation 3

The PlayStation 3 (PS3) is a home video game console developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the successor to PlayStation 2, and is part of the PlayStation brand of consoles. It was first released on November 11, 2006, in Japan, November 17, 2006, in North America, and March 23, 2007, in Europe and Australia. The PlayStation 3 competed mainly against consoles such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles.

The console was first officially announced at E3 2005, and was released at the end of 2006. It was the first console to use Blu-ray Disc as its primary storage medium. The console was the first PlayStation to integrate social gaming services, including the PlayStation Network, as well as the first to be controllable from a handheld console, through its remote connectivity with PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita. In September 2009, the Slim model of the PlayStation 3 was released. It no longer provided the hardware ability to run PS2 games. It was lighter and thinner than the original version, and featured a redesigned logo and marketing design, as well as a minor start-up change in software. A Super Slim variation was then released in late 2012, further refining and redesigning the console.

During its early years, the system had a critically negative reception, due to its high price ($599 for a 60 gigabyte model, and $499 for a 20 GB model), a complex processor architecture and a lack of quality games, but was praised for its Blu-ray capabilities and "untapped potential". The reception would get more positive over time. The system had a slow start in the market but managed to recover, particularly after the introduction of the Slim model. Its successor, the PlayStation 4, was released later in November 2013. On September 29, 2015, Sony confirmed that sales of the PlayStation 3 were to be discontinued in New Zealand, but the system remained in production in other markets. Shipments of new units to Europe and Australia ended in March 2016, followed by North America which ended in October 2016. Heading into 2017, Japan was the last territory where new units were still being produced until May 29, 2017, when Sony confirmed the PlayStation 3 was discontinued in Japan.

Prince (musician)

Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, actor and filmmaker. A prominent music figure of the 1980s, Prince was known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, extravagant fashion sense and use of makeup, and wide vocal range. A multi-instrumentalist, he was considered a guitar virtuoso and was also skilled at playing the drums, percussion, bass, keyboards, and synthesizer. Prince pionereed the Minneapolis sound, which is a subgenre of funk rock with elements of synth-pop and new wave, in the late 1970s.Prince was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and developed an interest in music as a young child; he wrote his first song, "Funk Machine", at the age of seven. He signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records at the age of 17, and released his debut album For You in 1978. His 1979 album Prince went platinum, and his next three albums—Dirty Mind (1980), Controversy (1981), and 1999 (1982)—continued his success, showcasing his prominently explicit lyrics and blending of funk, dance, and rock music. In 1984, he began referring to his backup band as the Revolution and released Purple Rain, the soundtrack album to his film debut. It quickly became his most critically and commercially successful release, spending 24 consecutive weeks atop the Billboard 200 and selling over 20 million copies worldwide. After releasing the albums Around the World in a Day (1985) and Parade (1986), The Revolution disbanded, and Prince released the double album Sign o' the Times (1987) as a solo artist. He released three more solo albums before debuting The New Power Generation band in 1991.

In 1993, while in a contractual dispute with Warner Bros., he changed his stage name to an unpronounceable symbol (), also known as the "Love Symbol," and began releasing new albums at a faster rate to remove himself from contractual obligations. He released five records between 1994 and 1996 before signing with Arista Records in 1998. In 2000, he began referring to himself as "Prince" again. He released 16 albums after that, including the platinum-selling Musicology (2004). His final album, Hit n Run Phase Two, was first released on the Tidal streaming service on December 2015. Five months later, at the age of 57, Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose at his Paisley Park recording studio and home in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

Prince's innovative music integrated a wide variety of styles, including funk, rock, R&B, new wave, soul, psychedelia, and pop. He has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He won eight Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award for the 1984 film Purple Rain. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. Rolling Stone ranked Prince at number 27 on their list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Thanos

Thanos (UK: , US: ) is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character, created by writer/artist Jim Starlin, first appeared in The Invincible Iron Man #55 (cover dated February 1973). Thanos is one of the most powerful villains in the Marvel Universe and has clashed with many heroes including the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men.

The character appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, portrayed by Damion Poitier in The Avengers (2012), and by Josh Brolin in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019) through voice and motion capture. The character has also appeared in various comic adaptations, including animated television series, arcade, and video games.

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