One factor of America's extraordinarily high medical costs is our belief that dying is optional. Your death is inevitable, of course, but mine is not. I and those I love simply don't have to die. I'm being sarcastic, of course, but there is not a reader who doesn't get what I mean.
The dramatic change in the causes of death by Dr. Stephen Schempff describes how the advances of science and the art of healing during the last century have changed how we view death.
This TEDx talk by Peter Saul summarizes the four ways we die out in plain, if uncomfortable detail.
I got the graph above showing the four main categories of causes of death from one of the power point slides in his talk. They are
- Sudden Death
- Terminal Illnesses
- Organ Failure
I may change my mind, but given a choice I would choose #1 or #2. Option #3 can be manageable in many cases but #4 definitely is the worst. Living longer doesn't mean a longer youth. Longevity means a longer old age.