Here we'll explore the biological process of death and also clear up some basic questions about the science of it all.
Find out how the mind reacts to death and how people try to cope with it.
Death is treated very differently all around the world. Here we'll discuss the various religious and cultural differences.
Discover the social implications of death and how death affects society.
Discuss death related topics with other surfers.
Death's Common Ground
Any living organism is a collection of cells, and us humans aren't an exception. Those cells make up, of course, different organs in the human body. It takes all the organs working together to sustain life. That is the common goal. But what is the actual work that they do together? In a word, energy.
All the organs in the human body work in tandem to produce energy. Everything is involved in that process, either directly or indirectly. Lungs work for the goal of energy directly. The brain works indirectly. While it functions in other ways, is necessary to control the energy-making process. After all, lungs can't breath without the brain sending it signals, nor can a heart. Didn't I learn all this in seventh grade? Yes, it's all the same old stuff. However you probably haven't seen death described in terms of this goal of energy. And that's really what it's all about.
When something impedes the energy-making process for a lengthy period of time, death occurs. This is the only reason why any organism dies. Simple, eh? And as far as humans are concerned, energy is made from two things: oxygen and nutrients. Deprivation of either one, or the inability to process them, means no energy, and thus death. So in the same vein, the only reason why a human dies is because oxygen or nutrients aren't being processed.
Two situations can cause this. The simplest is when oxygen or nourishment aren't available in the first place for the body to take in for processing-- suffocation or starvation, respectively. In this case a lack of processing oxygen or nutrients happens because they simply aren't available in the environment for the body to take in. Health problems aren't even involved in this case-- no oxygen or food to begin with, no energy, and no life. But a lack of processing oxygen and nutrients can also be caused by the body's inability to process them, when there's a problem that hinders the process of making energy. In these cases, it's nearly always about oxygen, rather than nutrients. It's hard for the body to not be able to process food. Therefore, for the majority of causes of death, it's about oxygen, plain and simple. When the lungs don't function, or even the liver or kidneys for that matter, the production of energy from oxygen and is stopped, because the body no longer has the ability to perform the process. Somehow, there is something wrong in the body that stops the ability to synthesize energy from oxygen.
Copyright 2001. Created by a Thinkquest team.
Feel free to email us at C0122781@thinkquest.org.