Players in the Death Industry

No one healthy gets up in the morning and decides to plan for their funeral arrangements. I would think this is a sign of health. We all have a strong survival instinct and our death is not a thought we relish. But someone at the Atlantic Monthly took on the Death Industry as a journalistic experience publishing current figures and trends that we may not otherwise know.

While the “big news” seems to be the entry of Amazon.com and Walmart.com into the death industry (selling caskets online), several other players in the death industry are not mentioned: physician caused deaths (around 250,000 per year or 685 a day), pharmaceutical caused death (300 per day in 1998 in hospitals as reported by JAMA), and war caused death (figures are surely in the millions).

As a culture, we say we value life more than some other cultures. But we don’t always make people responsible for the deaths they cause. Do we ask politicians to declare how many deaths happened on their watch? Do we shut down hospitals that cause deaths by case mismanagement? Does the government take pharmaceuticals off the shelves that cause death? Do we make it impossible for drunks to drive? Do we stop smokers from inducing cancers from their second-hand smoke?

Do we really love life and make a stand against death or do we, like we do with the death industry, wait for someone else to file a report?

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