Feed on

ONE in five people will die a “shameful death” alone, ravaged by dementia and without dignity, new British research claims. A book by sociology professor Allan Kellehear, A Social History Of Dying, argues this kind of death would be considered “shameful” by previous generations.

In a bleak portrait of death in the 21st century, the professor from the University of Bath, claims the act of dying is becoming increasingly “tragic and anti-social”.

He argues that medical advances were enabling people to live longer but society was at a loss with how to treat this large ageing population.

“Most people think only fleetingly about how they will die and usually it surrounds some romantic notion dying in our sleep at home,” he said.

“This couldn’t be further from the truth. We are significantly more likely to die a prolonged death in a nursing home or hospital, preceded by multiple organ failure, pneumonia or dementia.

“As we live longer, there is every chance that we will outlive those friends and family who have traditionally seen us through our last years.

“It is also likely that we will have exhausted the financial means by which we would pay professionals to look after us instead.”

Professor Kellehear claims that the way that developed countries treat the dying is “shameful.”

He argues that the act of dying may have actually been handled better by earlier generations with “good” peasant deaths surrounded by friends and family.

He claims that the rise in “shameful deaths” is leading an increasing number of elderly people to consider suicide in order to take control and manage their own death.

Professor Kellehear urges governments worldwide to reassess how the act of dying is treated before it becomes a major crisis.

“Whether it is introducing more liberal policies that enable people to better manage how they die, a closer examination of medical ethics, better training for nursing homes or support for people who care for the elderly – something needs to happen,” he said.

“We need to tackle the subject of dying head on. Talk about dying, let alone our own death, is not a popular theme for politicians or public debate.

“But there is no escape from the tragedy that will befall many of us when we die.”

Footnote: Literature on euthanasia at the ERGO bookstore.

One Response to “Way some of us die is ‘shameful’”

  1. apeacefulpassing2025 says:

    Excellent article. It is so ridiculous for any of us to sit here and wait to die a prolonged agonizing death in a nursing home where many are certain not only to die a physical death or cancerous, but also to be abused by evil staff members who despise the elderly and the weak. Many of these homes are simply antiseptic concentration camps to destroy the spirit of those who are helpless. That is why I’d rather die as soon and as peacefully as possible. Nursing homes are prisons to punish those for being old. The ethics do not apply in these facilities.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.