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CLARIN

We Should Use The Pandemic To Rethink Death, And Life

Two years of restrictions and millions of deaths brought on by the pandemic might have had us reflect on the reality of suffering and death, but as booming pharmaceutical and retailing figures suggested, nothing can distract modern folk from their love of distraction. A view from an Argentine physician.

-Essay-

BUENOS AIRES - Talking about death gets bad press. Our culture hides it, and we shun it and can barely accept it as the final point of our lives. For philosophy, however, death is a star that has irradiated its dim light from the very dawn of thought. For medicine, it is akin to a calendar.

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Disrupting Death: How Tech Is Shaking Up The Funeral Industry

Funeral undertakers belong to one of the oldest professions in the world. But now, start-ups want to disrupt old-fashioned funeral homes. Unafraid to tackle taboos, new services offer ways to live on digitally after death.

PARIS — The confrontation was aggressive but ultimately turned out to be beneficial. In late January, Lilian Delaveau deeply split the investors of French TV show “Who Wants To Be My Associate?” in which aspiring entrepreneurs present a pitch to experienced investors. The 27-year-old pitched Requiem Code, a QR code app that personalizes graves by displaying various memories of the deceased person in augmented reality when put on a funeral tablet.

“I completely disagree with your project. You are wiping out the contemplation. Each person should be allowed to keep a different memory,” the tourism professional Jean-Pierre Nadim told him.

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The Ventilator Question: ICU Doctors Struggle With End-Of-Life Ethics

Instead of ending ICU treatment and allowing relatives to say goodbye peacefully, doctors often keep patients alive for too long. The pandemic has forced us to revisit eternal dilemmas and shown that Intensive Care Units are often unprepared to confront tough ethical questions.

BERLIN — The doctor had no doubt that it was a matter of life or death. A patient with severe pneumonia had arrived down in the emergency room, he told his colleague on the phone. He was no longer breathing well, which in medical jargon means something like: He is at risk of suffocating. "Can you take him over to the intensive care unit (ICU) very quickly?" the doctor requested.

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Requiem For A Stray Cat

At the mental health center where I work, we have always taken care of the area’s stray cats.

Birba had been around for a few years.

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Society
Luigi Mancone

When Killing Your Mother Is An Extreme Act Of Love

News of the acquittal in Italy of a man who confessed to killing his 92-year-old disabled mother comes just as the country is discussing the reversal of a law that bans assisted suicide. For La Stampa, Luigi Mancone argues that legislators cannot leave assisted suicide in a grey zone.

-OpEd-

The story of Giovanni Ghiotti — a 53-year-old from the province of Asti, in northern Italy, who confessed to having killed his 92-year-old disabled mother in order to avoid her further suffering — is not easy to hear. Ghiotti was later acquitted by a court in Asti.

It is a story that does not seem to belong to modern, secular, capitalist society, in which the value of human life can gradually lose its meaning, and the quality and dignity of existence seem to be measured according to health criteria of efficiency and productivity.

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Society
Carl-Johan Karlsson

Time To Tally COVID's Deadly "Side Effects"

The unexpected rise in highway deaths, even with far fewer drivers on the road, is a reminder of the many ways the virus is killing us even if it doesn’t enter your body.

-Analysis-

Last Tuesday afternoon, 20 ambulances were racing from all directions toward a highway tunnel in the province of Tolima, in central Colombia. A chain collision had left a mangled scene of death and wreckage after a truck had lost control, causing 15 vehicles including several freight trucks to crash. The pile-up left 8 dead and 33 people wounded, Colombian daily El Tiempo reports.

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Society
Anne-Sophie Goninet

Why The Right To Die Is Expanding Around The World

Euthanasia and assisted suicide laws are still the exception, but lawmakers from New Zealand to Peru to Switzerland and beyond are gradually giving more space for people to choose to get help to end their lives — sometimes with new and innovative technological methods.

The announcement last month that a “suicide capsule” device would be commercialized in Switzerland, not surprisingly, caused quite a stir. The machine called Sarcophagus, or “Sarco” for short, consists of a 3D-printed pod mounted on a stand, which releases nitrogen and gradually reduces the oxygen level from 21% to 1%, causing the person inside to lose consciousness without pain or a sense of panic, and then die of hypoxia and hypocapnia (oxygen and carbon dioxide deprivation).

While active euthanasia is illegal in Switzerland, assisted suicide is allowed under certain conditions and under the supervision of a physician, who has first to review the patient’s capacity for discernment — a condition that Sarco aims to eliminate. “We want to remove any kind of psychiatric review from the process and allow the individual to control the method themselves,” Australian doctor Philip Nitschke, the machine’s creator, told news platform SwissInfo. Some argue that this is against the country’s medical ethical rules while others expressed concerns about safety.

But Nitschke says he found the solution: an online AI-based test, which will give a code to the patient to use the device if he passes.

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India
Kavitha Muralidharan

Copy RM- Draft Test

From helping the homeless to investing in schools, the Anjali Thagana Medai dedicates its profits to ways to help the living of the whole community

MADURAI — Forty-seven-year-old Madhan Karuppaiah’s day typically starts at nine in the morning when he leaves his apartment at Andalpuram in Madurai to visit two temples and a railway junction. Strangely, the purpose is neither pray nor travel. Outside the temples and the junction, Madhan and a volunteer working with him distribute food pockets to 100-odd women and men.

“Today, the menu is sambhar rice, pickle and an appalam, we try to maintain some kind of variety,” says Madhan. He has been doing this since the lockdown was imposed during the first wave of COVID-19. “Few days into the lockdown, it struck some of us that there were people who had absolutely no one to turn to. So, we decided to give food to those living on the streets.”

His next stop is oddly an electric crematorium.

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Society
Kavitha Muralidharan

"Fed By The Dead" - India Crematorium Pours Profits Back Into Cycle Of Life

From helping the homeless to investing in schools, the Anjali Thagana Medai dedicates its profits to ways to help the living of the whole community

MADURAI — Forty-seven-year-old Madhan Karuppaiah’s day typically starts at nine in the morning when he leaves his apartment at Andalpuram in Madurai to visit two temples and a railway junction. Strangely, the purpose is neither pray nor travel. Outside the temples and the junction, Madhan and a volunteer working with him distribute food pockets to 100-odd women and men.

“Today, the menu is sambhar rice, pickle and an appalam, we try to maintain some kind of variety,” says Madhan. He has been doing this since the lockdown was imposed during the first wave of COVID-19. “Few days into the lockdown, it struck some of us that there were people who had absolutely no one to turn to. So, we decided to give food to those living on the streets.”

His next stop is oddly an electric crematorium.

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Society
Tarushi Aswani

COVID-19 Widows In India Face A Sexist Bureaucracy

Women who have found themselves in charge of a family after the sudden deaths of family members discover rules, regulations and laws making mockery of their situation.

NEW DELHI "He died months ago but the government reminds us of our loss every day," says Dipanwita Das, whose husband died on April 25, 2021, at the height of India's second wave of COVID-19.

Das admitted her husband to Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital as his vitals dipped and temperature rose. Her husband, Partho, passed away soon after, beginning an ordeal for the widow that she had entirely not foreseen.

First, the hospital misspelled her husband's name on official documentation, delaying the procurement of a death certificate. To rectify this mistake, hospital authorities asked Dipanwita to file an application. They also asked her to update the "registered contact" with her own number, as the hospital had entered the number of a hospital attendant in that space.This process took weeks.

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WHAT THE WORLD
Bertrand Hauger

French Master Forger Dies After Being Mugged For His (Fake) Luxury Watch

Eric Piedoie, a French master forger known as "the art pirate," has died after being mugged in Cannes over his luxury watch — which (like his own work) was a fake. French daily Le Parisien highlighted the irony, calling his death Sunday from heart failure after the attack "one last snub" from a man who spent his life copying other people's work.

Miro, Giacometti, Niki de Saint Phalle, Yves Klein, Toulouse-Lautrec, Chagall: Beginning in the 1980s Eric Piedoie made a (devilish) name for himself by masterfully forging and selling works by the world's greatest artists, deceiving gallery owners and specialists alike.

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Sources
Anne Sophie Goninet

Photo Of The Week: This Happened In Brazil

One year into the coronavirus pandemic, Brazil registered its deadliest month in March. In the 31 days that have just passed, 66,573 people were killed by COVID-19, more than double the previous monthly high. The explosion of cases is largely blamed on the local virus variant, believed to be more contagious, having now pushed Brazil over the 300,000 mark in total coronavirus deaths, second only to the United States with 553,000. Currently, however the U.S. is down to under 1,000 daily deaths while Brazil is more than 3,000.

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