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Death to Biologists

"In the last analysis it is our conception of death which decides our answers to all the questions life puts to us."- Dag HammarskjoldDeath and dying are of fundamental importance to biologists and medical doctors. Yet, their study is a backwater of research that deserves far more attention. In a PubMed search, "aging" papers outnumber "dying" papers by 10 to 1, and "sex" outnumbers "dying" by 20 to 1.Death and dying are not being taught, either. Of the three top-selling human biology textbooks,

Richard Gallagher

"In the last analysis it is our conception of death which decides our answers to all the questions life puts to us."

- Dag Hammarskjold

Death and dying are of fundamental importance to biologists and medical doctors. Yet, their study is a backwater of research that deserves far more attention. In a PubMed search, "aging" papers outnumber "dying" papers by 10 to 1, and "sex" outnumbers "dying" by 20 to 1.

Death and dying are not being taught, either. Of the three top-selling human biology textbooks, each running to about 500 pages, two devote just half a page to death, the other none. Matters are worse still in the 1,000+-pages of human anatomy and physiology textbooks. In the three highest-level books, one devotes three paragraphs to death, one just one paragraph (but it has a nice description of rigor mortis), and the third has a two-sentence description of brain death....

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