Articles on Death

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The abyss of hell. Sandro Botticelli.

What is hell?

The meaning of hell might have changed over the centuries, but for devout Christians it remains a core part of their faith.
The theme at the core of Rowling’s wizarding world speaks directly to a universal human reality: The struggle to come to terms with our mortality. Shutterstock

Harry Potter and the surprisingly poignant literary theme

We may think of _Harry Potter_ as escapist delight, but J.K. Rowling’s books also contain an extended theme that has more in common with _King Lear_ than most English professors might care to admit.
Digital documents are not nearly as easy to retrieve. Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Estate planning for your digital assets

What happens to your Facebook account, your iTunes purchases and your email messages when you die?
Jewish law recognises patient choice as decisive in some situations where assisted dying may be an option. shutterstock

What Jewish law says about suicide and assisted dying

Under Jewish law the preservation of human life is a cardinal commandment: both suicide and self-endangerment are forbidden.
Symptoms of an illness usually improve the closer a person gets to dying. Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

No, most people aren’t in severe pain when they die

Excruciating pain at the end of life is extremely rare. The evidence shows pain and other symptoms, such as fatigue, insomnia and breathing issues, actually improve as people move closer to death.
A tangle of rules govern what to do when a California inmate dies. AP Photo

Who will bury Charles Manson?

If no one claims the remains of cult leader and killer Charles Manson, it's unclear what will happen to his body. Will it find an anonymous California grave or face dissection in an anatomy lab?
Victoria’s Parliamentary Secretary for Treasury and Finance Mr Daniel Mulino voted against the state’s assisted dying bill. JOE CASTRO/AAP Imagine

Four reasons Victorian MPs say ‘no’ to assisted dying, and why they’re misleading

The main arguments used by those who voted against assisted dying – including that the bill has insufficient safeguards – in Victoria's upper house, deserve further scrutiny.

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