Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Kidney failure patients face higher risk of cancer death

A new study indicates that individuals with kidney failure, such as those undergoing dialysis and those who have received kidney transplants, experience higher risks of dying from cancer than people in the general population. ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Verbal autopsies capture more accurate burden of disease in Uganda

Training community health workers to perform verbal autopsy interviews captured more accurate and complete data about the number and causes of deaths in a rural sub-county of Uganda than current health facility-dependent ...

Health

Diets consisting of fewer calories improve cell performance

The number of calories a person eats directly influences the performance of cells. A group of researchers from the University of São Paulo (USP) has shown that low-calorie meals have a protective effect against some diseases. ...

Medical research

Why too much DNA repair can injure tissue

DNA-repair enzymes help cells survive damage to their genomes, which arises as a normal byproduct of cell activity and can also be caused by environmental toxins. However, in certain situations, DNA repair can become harmful ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Tuberculosis—Inhibiting host cell death with immunotherapy

Tuberculosis treatment still entails the administration of several antibiotics over a period of months and is torturous for many patients. The pathogen's increasing multidrug resistance additionally complicates this lengthy ...

Medical research

New role for death molecule

Cellular death is vital for health. Without it, we could develop autoimmune diseases or cancers. But a cell's decision to self-destruct is tightly regulated, so that it only happens to serve the best interests of the body. ...

page 1 from 23

Death

Death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that define a living organism. It refers to both a particular event and to the condition that results thereby. The true nature of the latter has for millennia been a central concern of the world's religious traditions and of philosophical enquiry. Many religions maintain faith in either some kind of afterlife or reincarnation. The effect of physical death on any possible mind or soul remains for many an open question.

Animals almost without exception (see hydra) die in due course from senescence. Intervening phenomena which commonly bring death earlier include malnutrition, predation, disease, accidents resulting in terminal physical injury, or, in extreme circumstances, grave ecosystem disruption. Intentional human activity causing death includes suicide, homicide, and war. Roughly 150,000 people die each day across the globe. Death in the natural world can also occur as an indirect result of human activity: an increasing cause of species depletion in recent times has been destruction of ecological systems as a consequence of the widening spread of industrial technology.

Death in this context is now seen as less an event than a process: conditions once considered indicative of death are now reversible. 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. Precise medical definition of death, in other words, becomes more problematic, paradoxically, as scientific knowledge and technology advance.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA