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Death by natural causes

Please only add profiles to this "umbrella" project if there no further information on cause of death than "natural causes."

See "Related Projects", if you do not see a project for a needed Natural cause of death, please go to the following discussion: Cause of Death Projects needed???

A death by natural causes, as recorded by coroners and on death certificates and associated documents, is one that is primarily attributed to an illness or an internal malfunction of the body not directly influenced by external forces. For example, a person dying from complications from influenza (an infection) or a heart attack (an internal body malfunction) or sudden heart failure would be listed as having died from natural causes. Old age is not a scientifically recognized cause of death; there is always a more direct cause although it may be unknown in certain cases and could be one of a number of aging-associated diseases.

Simply put, death by natural causes is a death that is not unexpected. It is not from an accident, a natural disaster, a homicide or suicide. It is also one that is not preventable. A disease process that has progressed and caused organ failure is usually the root of the natural cause.

In contrast, death caused by active intervention is called unnatural death.

No longer used as categories on death certificates, but causes used before the 21st century, are terms such as Debility - State or quality of being weak; weakness; feebleness; languor.


"When a patient dies, his or her physician is required to complete a death certificate, identifying the cause of death. In my 21 years of experience in medicine, I am unable to recall a single occasion in which I filled out the death certificate as "natural causes." When my patients died, there was always a reason (pneumonia, lung cancer, cardiac arrest, etc.). In our technologically-oriented and legally-influenced field of medicine, we have arrived at the point where we always look for a reason for dying."
"In this country, dying used to be a simple process. Many persons died in their homes in a peaceful, familiar environment surrounded by caring family and friends. Death was a solemn affair accepted as a normal part of life. Doctors could offer little help except the security of their presence and comforting words. Many deaths of 50 years ago were from "natural causes.""
"In contrast, today’s patients usually die in the unfamiliar environment of a hospital, attached to tubes and alarms and surrounded by strangers. Death frequently occurs in the frenzied atmosphere that follows an unsuccessful attempt at CPR. It doesn’t necessarily matter that the patient may have been 93 and in frail health. Many people in society and many physicians themselves view these deaths as a failure of modern medicine to reverse the cause of illness. As might be expected, the term "death from natural causes" is now used much less often than in years past."

Top ten causes of death


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