Death Isn’t As Bad As You Think, End Of Life Doctor Says

A retired end-of-life doctor has revealed what she thinks really happens when people die, saying it’s “probably not as bad as you think”. Dr Kathryn Mannix, from Northumberland, specializes in palliative and end-of-life care, and seeks to break taboos and encourage people to talk more about death.

Dr. Mannix, who has worked in the profession for 30 years and has written books on the subject, believes that the whole dying process is much easier for the dying person and their family if everything is more straightforward, including understood the language used, reports the Mirror.

Speaking to a short film for BBC Ideas, she said: “‘In my humble opinion, dying is probably not as bad as you’d expect. We have lost the rich wisdom of normal human death and it is time for us to talk about dying and reclaiming the wisdom.

“Dying, like giving birth, is really just a process. Gradually, people become more tired, more tired. As time passes, people sleep more and are less awake.

Dr Mannix said patients nearing the end of life will often say they had a “good sleep” as they come in and out of consciousness, and the process “doesn’t seem scary”. She said the so-called ‘death rattle’ is actually a sign that someone is ‘deeply relaxed’ and ‘so deeply unconscious that they don’t feel that tickle of saliva as their air goes in and out’ .

Dr Mannix said: “At the very end of someone’s life there will be a period of shallow breathing and then an exhalation which is just not followed by another inhalation. Sometimes it’s so soft that families don’t even notice it’s happened.

“Normal human death is just a very gentle process, something we can acknowledge, something we can prepare for, something we can deal with. And it should be something we can celebrate.

“It’s something we should be able to take comfort in. But because it’s become rude to talk about dying, it’s medicine’s best-kept secret.”

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