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Articles on Death

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Andy Rain/EPA/AAP

Why do we mourn people we don’t know?

Grieving the queen’s passing can be different to grieving the loss of someone we were close to. It’s also complicated by politics, colonialism and the contest about who she really was.
The fear of not having a “good death,” by dying at home among family members, has become a very real concern — especially during the pandemic. (Anton Darius/Unsplash)

The pandemic changed what it means to have a ‘good death’

As we reflect on what life means to us in this post-pandemic shuffle, we need to also contemplate what a “good death” is.
Several factors ranging from personal spiritual beliefs to patient relationships to medical legal issues can influence whether a health-care practitioner participates in providing medical assistance in dying (MAID). (Shutterstock)

Health-care providers and MAID: The reasons why some don’t offer medically assisted death

For people to access medical assistance in dying (MAID) requires health-care professionals willing to provide the service. The reasons health-care providers choose not to participate are important.
When a person loses a loved one to COVID-19, the mental health effects can be severe. Ol'ga Efimova / EyeEm via Getty Images

1 in 8 U.S. deaths from 2020 to 2021 came from COVID-19 – leaving millions of relatives reeling from distinctly difficult grief

COVID-19 deaths tend to be more unexpected and traumatic than other types of deaths. A sociologist explains the mental health burdens facing the millions who’ve lost a relative to the coronavirus.
A woman looks through the locked gates at the Prospect Cemetery in Toronto in April 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

How obituaries helped people grieve during the pandemic

The pandemic has forced people to discover new ways of maintaining connection with one another and to consider their own mortality — obituaries played a part in making this easier.
The death of Savita Halappanavar in an Irish hospital in 2012 after she was denied an abortion during a miscarriage caused outrage across Ireland. AP Photo/Shawn Pogatchnik

Abortion: The story of suffering and death behind Ireland’s ban and subsequent legalization

In 1983, a constitutional referendum outlawed abortion in Ireland. In 2018, another referendum repealed the ban and legalized abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy. What happened?
An unmarked grave with a headstone that resembles a computer screen, nicknamed ‘iGrave’, is seen in north-west London. Leon Neal/AFP

‘Deadbots’ can speak for you after your death. Is that ethical?

The recent case of a man making a simulation of his deceased fiancée raises important questions: while AI makes it possible to create “deadbots”, is it ethically desirable or reprehensible to do so?
A man identified only as Viktor shows his neighbor’s grave in Bucha, Ukraine. It was too dangerous to go to the cemetery. Jana Cavojska/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

How burying the dead keeps the living human

Ukrainian families’ anguish at not being able to bury their loved ones underscores a deep human need, an anthropologist writes.

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