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Offline annie123

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?what are we? what is death?
« on: 23/08/2010 00:06:15 »
I posted some time ago some questions about what death actually is, when it occurs etc. I got back to it a bit late, and PWee had posted some questions which it was too late for me to answer.
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I'd answer to your question with some questions of my own: What do you concider yourself? Your heart? Your brain? Your consciousness? Sometimes people come back to "life", but they never reach consciousness again. They lie in a coma for the rest of their "lifes" is that revival or not?
If your brain is injured, doctors can still save your functioning organs and give it to other people for transplantation. Do you think that this way you live along in those others bodies or not?
What do you think, why do most people die? The most frequent cause of death in western counries is cardiac problems and cancer. Would you like to come back to life and die again and agin in minites ( possibly in pain) because of your organs can't function properly?

Any one out there have any thoughts about this? As for my answer,  if my organs are in someone else i don't consider 'I' am stilll living because  I think  'I', whatever that is, must be the result of my brain activity. As for the last question my reply is 'no'.  But I am still a bit concerned about how the moment or moments of death are assessed,,  as I don't want to be buried or burnt when some part of me is still conscious or aware.
 
 


 

Offline MartinTheK

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« Reply #1 on: 25/08/2010 08:01:11 »
I have been thinking about how to answer this one for several days. The best I can do is to recall what a great contemporary American philosopher once said in regard to the question. It went something like this...

"What is death like?...You know the smoked sturgeon at Lansky's?.....It's even worse!"
--Woody Allen, Love and Death
 

Offline annie123

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« Reply #2 on: 25/08/2010 18:51:17 »
Tibetan Buddhists say it takes several days for consciousness to leave the body. I am reluctant to donate my organs in case someone tried to take them before I'm ready, unless they gauarantee to inject me first wioth an anaesthetic plus a lethal something or other.I've heard that beating hearts have been taken from bodies that are brain dead.
 

Offline MartinTheK

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« Reply #3 on: 25/08/2010 19:15:32 »
Aha! This is a different question.

If your brain is dead what does it matter if your heart continues to beat? The question boils down more to how do you know when somebody is really brain dead?

One quick and dirty test is to take a few strands of cotton wool and gently touch the cornea of the eye. (do not try this on your own..if you scratch somebody's cornea by mistake you will be definitely in for it) If they don't react to that a little thing like removing their heart (beating or not) is not likely to disturb them.

The Navajo believe the soul hangs around a few days as well. If that sort of thing bothers you then you should clearly specify ()in the US it's called an "advance directive") that you don't want anybody mucking around with your personal innards..ever.


I, myself, ticked the box to be an organ donor if my brother agrees. I pretty much trust him and maybe it would earn me some spiritual merit when I'm called to answer for..(Never mind that!)

Also you should give some thought to whether you want to hang around in a "vegatative state" for years and years. Having once spent a month in a " 1-star rated" US nursing home, the prospect definitely fails to enchant me.

Maybe my junk could help a fellow bike rider. I'ld like tha.t

 

Offline Variola

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« Reply #4 on: 25/08/2010 20:19:37 »
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Maybe my junk could help a fellow bike rider. I'ld like tha.t

Yeah I think along those lines too. To imagine that I might be able to give someone the chance of life is a great feeling, I am also on the bone marrow donor list.

Only certain candidates are suitable for organ donation, those that are brain dead. It is essential the body's systems are kept functional and organs alive so the can be removed for donation. The run several tests over a number of days to ascertain whether brain death had happened. When that does happen, consciousness goes with it.
 

Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #5 on: 26/08/2010 12:01:43 »
my brother died a few years ago and the fact that his organs allowed others to survive, to lead normal lives, and to see again was an immense comfort.  the liaison doctor with the organ transplantation  service was incredibly supportive and is still in touch with my family giving up-dates and telling us that such a recipient is now expected to live a completely healthy life etc.

the tests are exhaustive and thorough before any organ harvesting takes place and there is no unseemly rush.  organ donation is an unalloyed good, in my opinion.  Matthew
 

Offline annie123

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« Reply #6 on: 26/08/2010 21:12:32 »
The problem with assessment of brain deadness is that the assessment is only so good as the instruments measuring it. If you had lived in the 19 century and been asessed as brain dead, I doubt if that would have accurately described the situation given their instruments, although they would ahve appeared quite adequate to them. hence the fact that some people were buried alive, and to allow for this some people had air holes and little bells built into their coffins in case they revived.
I have no guarantee that the instruments of today can accurately measure brain death to a level sufficient to prove that there isn't something else in there that is aware- as the Buddhists would claim. That it has senses is another matter and it may not feel things which might be OK. I don't have any particular religious attitude to this, but i do find that Buddhists and people who can take their minds to places that others can't seem to have abilities of perception and control over their physical bodies that the rest of us dont.I do know that high level yogis , Buddhist monks etc. can vaporize their bodies at death and leave nothing behind. (But I think the Funeral Service industry is suppressing this information . . .)
Anyway, there are more things in heaven and earth . . etc.and anyway organ donation wont be a problem in the future as people will be able to make new ones from their own stem cells.Someone alread made a beating heart muscle . .
 

Offline MartinTheK

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« Reply #7 on: 26/08/2010 21:46:25 »
I can't think of an instance where an organ donation did not result from massive head trauma. Without going into gruesome detail, I can assure you that such unfortunate people are -like the coroner says of the wicked witch in "The Wizard of Oz" - "not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead."

Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell a person is dead - (for the relatives)  --in a person without massive head trauma. I remember a case where the patient became a mummy with a heart beat who was kept "alive" 45 days until the night nurse brought up a fly maggot while she was suctioning him. (We all earned our pay on that one,,Brrrr!)

Are you currently dealing with an ill person you are close to, perhaps?

 

Offline Variola

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« Reply #8 on: 26/08/2010 22:17:11 »
The problem with assessment of brain deadness is that the assessment is only so good as the instruments measuring it. If you had lived in the 19 century and been asessed as brain dead, I doubt if that would have accurately described the situation given their instruments, although they would ahve appeared quite adequate to them. hence the fact that some people were buried alive, and to allow for this some people had air holes and little bells built into their coffins in case they revived.

In the 18th century the concept of brain death would not have existed because the knowledge of brain anatomy and function was not known to them. If you are brain dead, that means the brain stem is not functioning as it should be. It is not just a matter of instruments measuring, it is based on diagnostic tests carried out to a strict rigorous criteria.

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I have no guarantee that the instruments of today can accurately measure brain death to a level sufficient to prove that there isn't something else in there that is aware- as the Buddhists would claim. That it has senses is another matter and it may not feel things which might be OK.

Being aware, and being able to sustain independent life are two very different things. Brain death is a measure of the ability to sustain independent live, hence one of the criteria is that the person does not make any attempt to breathe for themselves. If you cannot breath for yourself, you cannot sustain your own life.


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I don't have any particular religious attitude to this, but i do find that Buddhists and people who can take their minds to places that others can't seem to have abilities of perception and control over their physical bodies that the rest of us dont.I do know that high level yogis , Buddhist monks etc. can vaporize their bodies at death and leave nothing behind. (But I think the Funeral Service industry is suppressing this information . . .)

You know? Ok then, yes funeral service industry, doctors, nurses, morgues, pathologists all suppressing the information  ::)
Vaporize?? This is a science forum not Star Trek!



Quote
Anyway, there are more things in heaven and earth . . etc.and anyway organ donation wont be a problem in the future as people will be able to make new ones from their own stem cells.Someone alread made a beating heart muscle . .

Oh yeah it is such a doddle to create fully functioning complex organs from stem cells  ::) They have also made liver cells, but so far the only real success has been a bladder, mainly because it is a simple organ with a simple structure. We are miles away from anything else.
 

Offline MartinTheK

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« Reply #9 on: 27/08/2010 01:30:17 »
I, ahem, have a (perhaps) facetious observation. I recently had occasion to utter the phrase "commitment ceremony" in the presence of my particular friend who is a 64 year old grandmother.

I did not foresee the remarkable effect such a phrase could have on the female mind. It is little short of a manic state. I believe that it is a stimulant which surely  puts IV cocaine to shame. I may need to make a submission to the "Journal of Irreproducible Results" to reveal this as a powerful test to show whether a person is (a)female and (b) alive.
 

Offline peppercorn

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« Reply #10 on: 27/08/2010 14:36:58 »
I do know that high level yogis , Buddhist monks etc. can vaporize their bodies at death and leave nothing behind. (But I think the Funeral Service industry is suppressing this information . . .)

You know? Ok then, yes funeral service industry, doctors, nurses, morgues, pathologists all suppressing the information  ::)
Vaporize?? This is a science forum not Star Trek!
:D :D :D

Quote
Oh yeah it is such a doddle to create fully functioning complex organs from stem cells  ::) They have also made liver cells, but so far the only real success has been a bladder, mainly because it is a simple organ with a simple structure. We are miles away from anything else.
Didn't you know that *actually* all our emotions are 'stored' in our spleen - I'm sure hoping no one gets my transplanted spleen!   [:(!] [:-'(] :o ;D
 

Offline Variola

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« Reply #11 on: 27/08/2010 15:04:02 »
I do know that high level yogis , Buddhist monks etc. can vaporize their bodies at death and leave nothing behind. (But I think the Funeral Service industry is suppressing this information . . .)

You know? Ok then, yes funeral service industry, doctors, nurses, morgues, pathologists all suppressing the information  ::)
Vaporize?? This is a science forum not Star Trek!
:D :D :D

Quote
Oh yeah it is such a doddle to create fully functioning complex organs from stem cells  ::) They have also made liver cells, but so far the only real success has been a bladder, mainly because it is a simple organ with a simple structure. We are miles away from anything else.
Didn't you know that *actually* all our emotions are 'stored' in our spleen - I'm sure hoping no one gets my transplanted spleen!   [:(!] [:-'(] :o ;D

I wonder how they are stored? Do we have special sadness cells, joy cells, lust cells..!
"Sorry Boss I can't come in today my lust cells are too full"
 :D
 

Offline peppercorn

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« Reply #12 on: 27/08/2010 15:08:58 »
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"Sorry Boss I can't come in today my lust cells are too full" :D

OH! So that's what that swelling was!!!    [:I]
 

Offline Variola

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« Reply #13 on: 27/08/2010 15:14:49 »
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"Sorry Boss I can't come in today my lust cells are too full" :D

OH! So that's what that swelling was!!!    [:I]

If you have a swelling where your spleen is when you feel lusty then you really do need to see a Doctor!  ;D

Might be less embarrassing and easier to hide if it was where your spleen is.... !
 

Offline peppercorn

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« Reply #14 on: 27/08/2010 15:26:56 »
If you have a swelling where your spleen is when you feel lusty then you really do need to see a Doctor!  ;D
In that case I suspect my spleen might have ruptured and the lust-cells have gone to the-lowest-of-the-low of places [:0] (maybe to join my brains!).   I better go see that [lady] doctor (hmm, wonder what she's wearing?) after all :o

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Might be less embarrassing and easier to hide if it was where your spleen is.... !

Kind of defeats the object though - in certain cases!  ;D
« Last Edit: 27/08/2010 15:28:48 by peppercorn »
 

Offline Variola

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« Reply #15 on: 27/08/2010 15:36:23 »
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In that case I suspect my spleen might have ruptured and the lust-cells have gone to the-lowest-of-the-low of places  (maybe to join my brains!).   I better go see that [lady] doctor (hmm, wonder what she's wearing?) after all
 

You have your brains in your big toe???   [:o)]
Do you mean "hmmm I wonder whay she is wearing underneath" ??  :P


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Kind of defeats the object though - in certain cases! 
 

That is very true! The spleen is more inaccessible than button flies.... and that is saying something!




 

Offline peppercorn

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« Reply #16 on: 27/08/2010 16:29:02 »
I suspect my spleen might have ruptured and the lust-cells have gone to the-lowest-of-the-low of places.
I meant lowest in terms of base instincts!

You have your brains in your big toe???   [:o)]
Oh, no! My brains would be dwarfed in a space that big ... I think they've ended up somewhere even smaller ... [:0] er... obviously meaning my little toe  ;D

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Do you mean "hmmm I wonder whay she is wearing underneath" ??  :P
Actually, I was thinking more of nurses!  [:I]

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The spleen is more inaccessible than button flies.... and that is saying something!
Errr, yes  :o   - I don't like button flies either!  >:(


A-n-y-w-a-y....
to return to some semblance of the original topic -
Apparently, Aristotle reckoned there was some link between sex
and the ageing process/death (miserable git!).
[NtS: so that's how I have remained so youthful...]
« Last Edit: 27/08/2010 16:30:50 by peppercorn »
 

Offline MartinTheK

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« Reply #17 on: 27/08/2010 17:39:15 »
Hey! You groundlings show some respect! I'm talking about mummies with heart beats and serious stuff like that -while you're down there making with the double entendre. T'aint fittin, McGee!

T'aint fittin, but it is human. Whenever, I would have to use a morgue pack when I got off work in the morning - I would have a tearing urge for a beer, a steak, and somebody to sleep with me..or at least dress me in footy pajamas and read me a story.
 

Offline Variola

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« Reply #18 on: 27/08/2010 20:13:20 »
Quote
A-n-y-w-a-y....
to return to some semblance of the original topic -
Apparently, Aristotle reckoned there was some link between sex
and the ageing process/death (miserable git!).
[NtS: so that's how I have remained so youthful...]

I reckon that was his excuse for not being able to get any!!!  ;D

Hey! You groundlings show some respect! I'm talking about mummies with heart beats and serious stuff like that -while you're down there making with the double entendre. T'aint fittin, McGee!

T'aint fittin, but it is human. Whenever, I would have to use a morgue pack when I got off work in the morning - I would have a tearing urge for a beer, a steak, and somebody to sleep with me..or at least dress me in footy pajamas and read me a story.

I can't say I have ever had the urge for footy PJs and a story.... ;DThe food and nookie I can quite understand though!
Fitting? Possibly not, but I did manage a couple of serious posts before degenerating into my usual silly humour.  :)

What are we? We are a collection of proteins bundled up with some electrical impulses. We are created from energy and when we die we return that energy to the Earth, through one way or another.
 

Offline MartinTheK

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« Reply #19 on: 27/08/2010 20:31:09 »
Possibly my favorite haiku poem..

"The world of dew,
is a world of dew,
and yet, and yet..."

-Etsujin

As to footy pajamas...there are times in life when you're better off making do with the footy pajamas and either Sibelius' violin concerto or the Adagio from "Concerto de Aranjuez" (Rodrigo's wife had just miscarried when he composed that)
 

Offline Variola

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« Reply #20 on: 27/08/2010 20:52:47 »
Quote
As to footy pajamas...there are times in life when you're better off making do with the footy pajamas and either Sibelius' violin concerto or the Adagio from "Concerto de Aranjuez" (Rodrigo's wife had just miscarried when he composed that)
   

Nice choices. ;D I love Bach cello suite No 1, and Mozart's Piano concerto No 21, and several others as it goes.
Yes you are right, sometimes there are times for the footy PJs  :)
 

Offline annie123

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« Reply #21 on: 27/08/2010 23:04:41 »


Are you currently dealing with an ill person you are close to, perhaps?



No. I don't have any personal connections with people who are near death - as far as I know.

As to the comment from Variola concerning 'knowing' that monks can vaporise, perhaps that's the wrong word in terms of scientific verification but that would be a good topic to investigate. My comment about funeral homes suppressing this was supposed to be frivolous - even I occasionally engage in minor frivolity. But having recently spent a month in the Himalayas amongst many buddhist monks and having been to the Dalai Lama's home etc. as well as listening to many Buddhist 'holy' people who say they have witnessed this, I was going on anecdotal evidence.(I was not there as a disciple, or convert - just interested in other cultures). There are also books written  by people who have been aware of this happening in communities in Tibet. So, nothing to do with Star Wars etc.   As to sustaining individual life if one cannot breathe independently, this has been done often enough as people who had polio in the fifties did.
Anyway, I'm quitting now - not interested in PJs or lusty spleens etc.
 

Offline MartinTheK

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« Reply #22 on: 27/08/2010 23:47:37 »
Sorry we couldn't answer this big question to your satisfaction.


Oh, I have to add "Flowers of the Forest" to my music suggestions...I'm not sure if it only works for Scots and/or their American ilk.


feature=related
« Last Edit: 28/08/2010 00:02:29 by MartinTheK »
 

Offline peppercorn

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« Reply #23 on: 31/08/2010 11:09:55 »
Anyway, I'm quitting now - not interested in PJs or lusty spleens etc.

Annie, sorry for my frivolous comments following your original question. Personally, I don't have a problem with people making the odd silly comment on the main boards, but think this probably went too far - afterall there's space enough for silliness on the Ligher-side boards.

I would, however warn that posters may not take your thread as seriously if you are going to base your arguments on clearly speculative evidence for a different form of 'being' - in what is, afterall, a mainstream science thread.

So, I hope you stick around a bit longer....  :)
 

Offline Variola

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« Reply #24 on: 31/08/2010 12:48:38 »
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I would, however warn that posters may not take your thread as seriously if you are going to base your arguments on clearly speculative evidence for a different form of 'being' - in what is, afterall, a mainstream science thread.
 

Exactly.

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afterall there's space enough for silliness on the Ligher-side boards.

Yes but there is a place for a sense of humour on all boards, you need it on here!
 

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