Interesting cause of death

Well, actually, rather common I expect. But to see it listed:

She died of frailty of old age on April 11, 2019, aged 83

I just wonder, is that actually a diagnosis? Something that would appear on a death certificate?

I mean, sure, I can well believe that this happens to some/a lot. Just generally stuff gives out. But is modern medicine willing to say so?

15 thoughts on “Interesting cause of death”

  1. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    “The parts that we found, scattered up The Great North Road indicated that the victim died of old age…”

    Police Baffled

  2. I seem to remember a pathologist saying there are normally only 3, maybe 4, actual causes of death barring exceptional cases.

    Heart stops, lack of sufficient oxygen getting to the lungs, loss of blood.

    When some bearded goat fvcker explodes you into pieces in a split second, this does not necessarily hold of course

  3. I’m pretty sure in that case you’ll have significant loss of blood, your heart stopping (to exist potentially) and a lack of oxygen to the lungs so they still hold.

    In fact loss of blood and lack of oxygen cause the heart to stop, and it is the heart stopping that can be argued to cause the rest of the body to die so everything could be termed as heart failure.

  4. For some reason this made me think of the fox hunting debate. Anti-hunters claim they object to the unpleasant death of the fox. But a fox has to die of something. The default being it gets too old to hunt successfully enough and therefore gradually starves or freezes to death. Is a lingering freezing starvation a better thing than a swift finale? I don’t think any wild animal has a pleasant death. Witness the recent bollocks about farmers not being allowed to shoot pests without a licence – but thereby condemning them to a lingering starvation at some point.

  5. I think my FIL’s official cause of death was “old age”. The unofficial cause, as let slip by the Registrar on the ward, was that the NHS had given him MRSA.

  6. Yes, old age is a valid cause of death to put on a death certificate. When I first started completing death certificates the limit was 70 years old. I think it’s now 80. I’m fairly sure it’s less common than it was, because of the tendency to investigate patients extensively (thereby finding a particular cause), and also because of the massively increased scrutiny of death certificates (thank you Dr Shipman)

  7. The ultimate cause of death at the cellular level is when the molecular pump keeping the balance of Na+ to K+ on either side of the membrane. When that fails due to energy depletion , cyanide, acidosis or summat the membrane bursts and the cell cannot recover function. The time post cessation of breathing and circulation before this occurs varies from tissue to tissue according to metabolic activity. Your cornea for instance survives very well using air directly as its O2 source and is viable for transplantation long after the rest of you is dead.

  8. Bloke no Longer in Austria

    The Mole reminds me of a German detective series set in a rural idyll, a sort of Jerry Midsome Murders. The local GP does the initial examination and every victim dies of heart failure.

    “Heart failure ? What makes you think that ?”
    “Well that big hole in his chest was a bit of a giveaway.”

    (For BiG. Mord mit Aussicht, if youve ever seen it)

  9. I like Gasman, who seems to be a doctor (presumably an anaesthetist), adopting that name.

    Shades of John Christie and 10 Rillington Place

  10. Everyone dies. The probability of death is 1. Remove any cause of dying (e.g. being bombed by Krauts) and the other causes of death increase to sum their probabilities to 1. So wipe out polio, TB, Measles – assuming that they aren’t reimported by some primitives from elsewhere – childbirth mortality, industrial accidents, military action – and what is left appears to increase. Hence, heart disease & cancer become the big killers because mostly they can’t be completely cured.

    The doctor stops you dying of heart problems – and makes sure you die of cancer, and vice versa.

    The big point of ‘curing’ a problem is to give the sufferer more years, and hopefully a better quality of life in the interim. None of the treatments stop you dying in the end.

    And a good job to see the end of boring old farts who voted for Brexit, and would bring back foxhunting and the death penalty if they could, say young people who haven’t realised how closely the grim reaper is following them too …

    Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee, or as the Elegy in an Urban Shithole would put it, Ask not for whom the muezzin calls, he calls for thee.

  11. When my gran died in our local NHS hospital we had to postpone her funeral for a month or so because drugs had gone missing from the ward and the police had to investigate to ensure she hadn’t been murdered. She was in the hospital only because a useless nurse had not noticed gaping absesses during house visits a year prior.

    Envy of the world guys… envy of the world.

  12. My neighbor is state solicitor for my county. I recently told him a neighbor had died, and there were a half dozen police cars parked in front of her house.

    “Was her husband a policeman? I can’t imagine why so many cops would have been there. Save boredom.”

    “No, not that I know of. Do you know what killed her?”

    “No. But she was 93 years old.”

    “Ahh. The clock is our primary suspect.”

  13. My father’s primary cause of death was “Frailty of Old Age”. So, yes; it is a diagnosis, and it does appear on death certificates.

  14. Was watching something recently on Elizabethan era and it referred to coroners reports and some of the statistics recorded back then, I recall that old age was one of the listed causes. There were a lot of drownings and deaths from fire, oddities like mauled by a bear and the biggest cause of death being plague/pox if memory serves

  15. Being well over eighty I can tell you that you can feel things wearing out. It seems to accelerate after 80.
    But part of my longevity is undoubtedly due to not being ‘investigated’ by doctors. (Australian ). The other part is equally due to still being married.

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