Ageing and death


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Wise rebel. James Dean with his grandfather. Fairmount, Indiana. 1955. Photo by Dennis Stock
Essay/
Ageing and death
Ask the aged

Who better to answer questions about the purpose of life than someone who has been living theirs for a long time?

Karl Pillemer

Photo by Gallery Stock
Essay/
Illness and disease
The disremembered

Dementia undermines all of our philosophical assumptions about the coherence of the self. But that might be a good thing

Charles Leadbeater

Cris Cristofaro holds his dog Dino as his beloved pet is sedated during an in-home euthanasia on 9 May 2012 in New York City. Photo by John Moore/Getty

Essay/
Ageing and death
Die like a dog

Pet dogs often have a peaceful death that forestalls protracted suffering and pain. Why can’t we do the same for humans?

Joseph Pierre

Medical students make use of a cadaver left to science at the Humboldt University, Berlin. Photo by DPA/PA

Essay/
Death
I’d rather be dissected

There are not enough whole-body donations to science. Why don’t people want their death to help the living?

Brooke Borel

Photo by Petr Josek/Reuters

Essay/
Bioethics
Dead enough

To honour donors, we should harvest organs that have the best chance of helping others – before, not after, death

Walter Glannon

Roma. 1963, Jarabina, Slovakia. Photo by Josef Koudelka/Magnum

Essay/
Death
The good death

It’s a modern dream that we can plan a good and peaceful death but what can we really do to meet the end of all we are?

Mary Talbot

A woman looks at Gerhard Richter's painting 'Betty' (1988). Photo by Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters
Essay/
Illness and disease
A good forgetting

Personal identity is tied to memory, but sometimes we find peace, clarity and a true sense of completeness in the lapses

Marianne Janack

Forever young. Photo by Leslie Ann O'Dell/Gallery Stock

Essay/
Biotechnology
Young blood

From teen-targeting vampires to Lady Báthory’s bloodbaths, we love stories of stolen youth. What if it were possible?

Jess Zimmerman

Wynton Marsalis leads a group of jazz musicians in a march for the New Orleans-style funeral of vibraphonist Lionel Hampton in New York, 7 September 2002. Photo by Doug Kantor/AFP/Getty

Essay/
Death
Mortal remains

The dead are no longer welcome at their own funerals. So how can the living send them on their way?

Thomas Lynch

Photo by Gallery Stock
Essay/
Death
Final independence

Nobody wants a protracted, dehumanised death: why is it still so easy for doctors to ignore a dying patient’s wishes?

Jeanne Erdmann

'Can death be sleep, when life is but a dream.......' On Death by John Keats (1795-1821) Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty
Essay/
Ethics
Staying alive

Our genes and our culture tell us to live as long as possible – even when living is misery. Should we listen?

Rhys Southan

Atrophy in the brain of a 64 year old patient suffering from Bensons syndrome, a rare form of Alzheimers.  Photo by Centre Jean Perrin/SPL

Essay/
Illness and disease
The neurofix

Stem cell therapies for the scourges of old age are on the near horizon. Will they come in time for the Baby Boomers?

Linda Marsa