New Lancet Commission Looks at the Medicalization of Death


From Lown Institute: “Every culture has traditions and rituals around death to affirm the value of life, create community, and provide comfort. For most of human history, practices around death sat within these realms of family, culture, and ritual. In the 21st century however, deaths in high-income countries have largely become ‘medicalized,’ moving more and more into the purview of the health care system.

‘How people die has changed dramatically over the past 60 years, from a family event with occasional medical support, to a medical event with limited family support.’

Libby Sallnow, co-chair, Lancet Commission on the Value of Death

What are the implications of this change for families and for health systems around the world? The Lancet Commission on the Value of Death recently released a report addressing the medicalization of death, why it matters, and proposing an alternative vision for end-of-life care.

Why should we care?

Is the medicalization of death necessarily a bad thing, particularly if people are living longer? Of course health care plays an important role at the end of life, but we‚Äôve lost the balance between health care and community. The authors point out that this imbalance has led to excessive interventions at the end of life, which ‘exclude contributions from families and friends, increase suffering, and consume resources that could otherwise be used to meet other needs.’

‘By giving time, attention, and compassion as people die, we connect with them and with our shared fragility, pushing us to acknowledge our interdependence and understand what is at the core of human relationships.'”

The Lancet Commission on the Value of Death

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  1. Most definitely, both the psychological and psychiatric industries – who are mass murdering people with their psychiatric drugs – need to rethink their “Medicalization of Death.”

    Especially given the reality that their antidepressants and ADHD drugs can create the “bipolar” symptoms.

    And their antidepressants and antipsychotics / neuroleptics can create the positive symptoms of “schizophrenia,” via anticholinergic toxidrome.

    And their neuroleptics can also create the negative symptoms of “schizophrenia” via neuroleptic induced deficit syndrome.

    So, no doubt, we need an end to the “Medicalization of Death,” especially when the psychologists’ and psychiatrists’ scientific fraud based DSM “bible” belief system is involved.

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  2. The title attracted my attention, as death remains a very misunderstood subject in this modern world. We have had a better understanding of it for most of my lifetime, yet most of academic medicine has ignored that data.

    While the article does admit that death has a “spiritual” aspect, it treats the problem from a conventional Western-oriented perspective. Many people have always died alone, suddenly, or under emotionally trying circumstances. Even where hospitals are available, there is no guarantee that we will die in one. Hospitals, when it comes to ICUs and other higher-tech aspects of care, are the creation of wealthier people who have a lot to lose if they die in an uncontrolled manner. Most of us, I don’t think, really care that much.

    But for us to still understand death as some sort of finality to be absolutely avoided for as many years as possible is, today, an ignorant even irresponsible attitude to take. Death is a very real human problem. We all have things we want to accomplish in this body and in this lifetime. We have friends and people to take care of. We hate to think that one day we might suddenly leave all that behind, messy and unfinished.

    But we should realize, at least, that we will have another chance. That death isn’t THE end, but only the loss of a body, unfortunate or not. If we understood death (and life) more for what they really are, not as biological experiences but as spiritual experiences, we could prepare for both much better and find more happiness in the process.

    That we are immortal spiritual beings who DO NOT die is the last thing our rulers want us to become aware of. And thus I think it is the most high priority fact of life to become aware of. This whole website deals with how a class of doctors found a way to prey off some of us with a “diagnostic manual,” guaranteed insurance payments, and “treatments” that make us dependent on them or kill us. They are doing this because of how spiritually dead they are. Those of us who think it’s wrong need to become more spiritually alive. We need to do our own research, publish our own journals, and eventually take the whole field away from them. They will not soon give up. We should never give up, Why give up? We are immortal spiritual beings!

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