Background: The increasing age of every human being is the beginning of the end of life, an obviously natural process, but any attempt to define the term ‘natural death’ soon encounters difficulties in defining what is meant by ‘natural’. In the industrialized countries of the West, for example ‘natural death’ is thought of as the opposite of non-natural types of death such as accidental death, suicide, and homicide. Objective: The aim of our present survey is to discuss the meaning of the term ‘natural death’ under a clinical, a forensic and a scientific point of view with regard to recent developments especially in molecular biology. Conclusion: If there are ‘external’ physical influences, a medical-technical manipulation, a therapeutic or molecular biological intervention cannot be definitely ruled out as the cause of death, then use of the term ‘natural death’ in general is open to question. It will only remain meaningful if it can be applied with a specific meaning in definite practical situations. Current research and medical technology, however, do not allow use of the term ‘natural death’ in its conventional sense: it can thus be stricken from the medical vocabulary.

This content is only available via PDF.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.