Author Topic: Old age deadly?  (Read 692 times)

lankou

  • Access All Areas
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3238
Re: Old age deadly?
« Reply #15 on: 01 Oct 2022 01:38PM »


Mind you, I'm still trying to find the bit in the guidance for E&W "Dropped dead of several simultaneous causes because pre-war stiff-upper-lip stoicism prevented the deceased from bothering their doctor."




That would apply to a number of my male relatives.

JLR2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2198
Re: Old age deadly?
« Reply #16 on: 01 Oct 2022 07:15PM »
"You have personally, or your clinical team have cared for the deceased over a long period (years, or many months"

Given the level of care and comfort the Queen lived in the idea she died for a lack of WD40 seems a bit odd.

KizzyKazaer

  • Global Moderator
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9170
Re: Old age deadly?
« Reply #17 on: 03 Oct 2022 04:24PM »
It never occurred to me that there might be anything amiss with 'died of old age' - I mean surely at a very late stage of life it's entirely possible that the human body could just quietly shut itself down, like a battery that's used all its charge, with no underlying illnesses present?

I certainly saw nothing suspicious about the Queen's death certificate, particularly as she happened to be 96..

Sunny Clouds

  • Access All Areas
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6263
Re: Old age deadly?
« Reply #18 on: 03 Oct 2022 05:36PM »
I think the whole issue of what a death certificate should or shouldn't say will always have the potential to be contentious for some and not for others.

E.g.  old age - how 'old' should 'old' be?  On the one hand, it's logical to me that you can die of old age, but is the posh person in overall good health with good care who dies at 90 the equivalent of the person living in deprived circumstances who dies at 90 or the person living in deprived circumstances who dies at 70 or 50?

Which maps back onto the issue of "This was already killing them, so why's that described as the cause of death?"

I'd like it if there was a category that said which bit(s) of them stopped functioning, then a list of apparent key factors in that (but not with the term 'key factors'), then other significant health issues that may be relevant.

All that being said, all the evidence I've come across would appear to suggest that humans don't live forever (or, where there may be evidence that some believe that one or more humans do that, we use a different term for them, such as 'divine' or 'reincarnated') so if nothing else gets you, age will.

Again, I think a lot of this could be improved upon if the death certificates were worded differently to make sense to non-clinicians (such as me) and also to reduce the risk of mis-interpretation and suspicion. 
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

JLR2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2198
Re: Old age deadly?
« Reply #19 on: 03 Oct 2022 09:35PM »
Queen Elizabeth appeared fine, allowing for her mobility problems, when she met such as our soon to be departed PM a matter of hours before she (Queen Elizabeth) died. From the little I watched of the news stories about that meeting Queen Elizabeth appeared bright eyed and to my mind in good health. So, whatever hit her to the degree that it brought about her death, I feel, was not something of a day-to-day occurrence. I accept I may be being a bit over active in my thinking about this as I have but for all that the woman is now resting with her nearest and dearest and long may she rest in peace.

Monic1511

  • Access All Areas
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2645
Re: Old age deadly?
« Reply #20 on: 04 Oct 2022 09:34AM »
Did you not notice the very large bruise on the back of her hand as if she’d been on a drip. It was prominent in the photos but as my pal said she just wanted to live long enough to see Boris out the door and that’s what finished her off.

JLR2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2198
Re: Old age deadly?
« Reply #21 on: 04 Oct 2022 03:16PM »
Hello Monic, yes I did see that dark bruise like discoloration on her hand. Had that discoloration been of any real impact on her cause of death I would have thought it worth mentioning on her death certificate. However, others better placed to know about such things decided otherwise and things were done as they were.

Sunny Clouds

  • Access All Areas
  • Super Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6263
Re: Old age deadly?
« Reply #22 on: 04 Oct 2022 05:42PM »
I think the relevance to her death would be if she'd needed extra help with things using a vein.  Towards the end of my father's life, they were using a vein in his hand, nowhere fancy or hidden, to give him extra nutrition because he was finding swallowing harder and for medication that was helping with organ function.

So evidence of perhaps repeated use of a drip could indicate failing organs, which could be down to age rather than a specific illness.  For example, my father's kidneys were failing, but he had no obvious disease in them and they didn't just suddenly stop.

It may well be that we need to either get rid of old age from death certificates or replace it with a different term like 'general organ failure', or remove it and be more specific.

But there does come a point when if a specific organ doesn't suddenly stop working, an overall deterioration can kill someone off.

I suppose that what I'm saying is that there's a distinction between the issue of whether the term old age adequately describes what's happening, and the issue of whether death has to be caused by what I'll call a single effect on a specific organ.

The other thing is that just as in the context of a range of disabilities someone can seem fine for part of a day and barely functioning for another, that can also happen with organ function. 

Not old age, but a friend had an unexpected cardiac arrest while she was still in her twenties, but despite much of her heart muscle showing up on scans as dead, she was able to rapidly recover enough that most people would not for one moment have suspected that she had a dicky ticker, particularly those that saw her playing with her kids.

A decade later, she went down with what seemed to be a heavy cold or mild flu and within hours was barely functioning.  They carted her off to hospital and stuck a drip in and kept her going a few more days, but if I hadn't happened to go round to see her, I think it very likely she'd have died before anyone would have seen what was amiss and called an ambulance.  (Her husband and children were away for the weekend.) 

So her already weakened heart must have worsened over the years then suddenly reached tipping point when she got an infection.  Well ok, my friend's heart wasn't weakened by age, but the same principle applies to organs weakened by age. 

And there are lots of conditions where you can seem ok and be dead a few hours later but where the underlying problem was deterioration over time.   
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)