Death - Essay Example

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According to some quarters, aging and death are part of life. Others claim that everything that has a beginning definitely should have an ending. Aging is associated with…
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Death and Aging Introduction Death and aging are two words that can never be separated because the former leads to the latter. According to some quarters, aging and death are part of life. Others claim that everything that has a beginning definitely should have an ending. Aging is associated with biological changes that progresses from birth through old age and death (Hof & Mobbs, 2009). Aging in the society has been characterized by hair turning grey, wrinkling of the skin, and even low muscle activity. The causes of these phenomena have never been clearly defined. A number of theories have been postulated to try and explain these events. The argument of the first theory is based on the fact that chemical changes take place in the body thus causing slow malfunctioning of the body components and other organs. Another theory bases its argument on the effects of stress on the body. Yet another theory states that the accumulation of non-functional materials found in the body which caused the body to function incorrectly (Heery, 2009).
Historical Background
Evolutionary theories that are concerned with aging and life expectancy try to explain the differences that occur in different species. Modern evolutionary theories were developed almost a century after the great scientist, Charles Darwin, postulated the Darwinian Theory that was mainly founded on the assumption of natural selection (Van Wyhe, 2008). Those who survive the natural selection process are said to be fit to live in their specific environment. Some quarters, however suggest that age is a prediction of aging and death. This idea is supported by the law of mortality which states that the rate of deaths rises gradually with age with age being a progressive loss of function that causes death. The aging process of an individual has never had a timing because some 70 year olds can be as fit as a 40 year olds and the vice versa.
Dying has become an issue in respect of aging since time immemorial. This is because, although aging has been seen as degeneration and decay of sense, it has been seen as an opportunity to develop. Overall (2006) states that one should live a good life at old age and enjoy the fruits of what they toiled for all their lives. So many people spend their early years in searching of fortunes and therefore living longer as they age gives them an advantage in fulfilling their desires. The aging generations tend to have weak immune systems that are mainly attacked by different diseases. This aging process tends to make them so worried about aging.
Influence of Demography
The trend of people having fewer children today has led to the changing of the age structure in the world. The number of aging people who are over the age of 60 is rising at a very high rate and it is expected that the number is expected to exceed the number of youth (15-to-24year-olds) in the next two decades (Sharma, Khosla, Tulsky, & Carrese, 2012). The increase in life expectancy has been attributed to better sanitation and medical services including vaccinations. More recently it was realized that the gains in the life expectancy has been associated with reduced rates of death at old and middle ages. This has never been the case in all countries especially in the low income countries that have a high morality.
Contemporary Aspects of Dying on Aging
During the aging process, one gets to go through so much and in old age due to the poor immunity in the body they tend to go through a lot of problems (Ruth, Van Eechoud, VanCamp, Grypdonck, Deveugele, Verbeke & Van Den, 2011). This is the point where one becomes dependent on others to live. This can be so much stressing to the elderly as noted by Corr, Nabe and Corr (2012). However, some people feel that graceful aging and death is better than going through a lot of suffering associated with old age.
Corr C., Nabe C., Corr D. (2012). Death and Dying, Life and Living, 7 Ed. New York: Cengage Learning.
Heery, M., & Richardson, G. (2009). Awakening to aging: Glimpsing the gifts of aging. Colorado Springs, CO: University of the Rockies Press.
Hof, P. & Mobbs C. (2009) Handbook of the Neuroscience of Aging. New York: Academic Press.
Overall, C. (2006). Précis of Aging, Death, and Human Longevity: A Philosophical Inquiry. Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review, 45(3), 537-548.
Ruth D. P., Van Eechoud, I. J., Van Camp, S., Grypdonck, M., Deveugele, M., Verbeke, N. C. & Van Den Noortgate, N. J. (2011). Advance Care Planning in terminally ill and frail older persons. Patient Education and Counseling.
Sharma, R., Khosla, N., Tulsky, J., & Carrese, J. (2012). Traditional Expectations versus US Realities: First- and Second-Generation Asian Indian Perspectives on Last-stageCare. JGIM: Journal Of General Internal Medicine, 27(3), 311.
Van Wyhe, J. (2008), Darwin: The Story of the Man and His Theories of Evolution, London: Andre Deutsch. Read More
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