Timing Death

Several weeks ago, Nina Shapiro wrote a feature on the newly-passed Death with Dignity Act and the difficulty of predicting how long terminally ill patients have to live.

Yesterday, The Kitsap Sun published the story of a Kingston man who seemed to time his own demise to match that of his wife's, as he declared his own condition "terminal" when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and passed away just six hours after she did.

A study cited by the story asserts that "[t]here is ample evidence that individuals may subconsciously or

deliberately hasten or postpone their own death by aiming towards a

psychologically important date."

In

the absence of overwhelming evidence, I tend to be a little leery of

that idea, just because it caters to all sorts of romantic notions. But

it is fascinating, as is the story of the Kingston couple.

 
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