Death is the cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living organism, permanently rendering it unresponsive to any external factors. . Phenomena which commonly bring about death include biological aging (senescence), predation, malnutrition, disease, suicide, homicide, starvation, dehydration, and accidents or trauma resulting in terminal injury. Bodies of living organisms begin to decompose shortly after death. Death of humans has commonly been considered a sad or unpleasant occasion, due to the termination of bonds with or affection for the being that has died, or having fear of death, necrophobia, anxiety, sorrow, grief, emotional pain, depression, sympathy,compassion, solitude, or saudade.
Causes of death
In most cases, death was caused by the major body parts within an organism simply "breaking down" from age and/or constant use. Almost all animals who survive external hazards to their biological functioning eventually die from biological aging, known in life sciences as “senescence”. Some organisms experience negligible senescence, even exhibiting biological immortality. Unnatural causes of death include suicide and homicide.
However, it could also be caused by irreparable damage to the major organs, such as them being ruptured, sliced, blasted, or similarly damaged. Death could also be caused by the loss of bodily fluids, such as blood, as they are required to ferry certain nutrients required for life to continue. In most cases this was oxygen, however a number of species breathed alternate substances. Suffocation could also bring about death, as it cut off the source of the required gas. If an organism entered an extremely hot or reactive area, their body could easily burn up and disintegrate, causing instant death.
Another cause was from cancers and infections, which occurred when dangerous bacteria and microbes took up residence in the host body, killing the flesh in that area, causing necrosis, and providing stable residence for more bacteria. Death was either caused by the bacteria getting into the bloodstream and causing necrosis in vital areas of the body, or the necrosis could simply spread and grow, literally compressing the vital organs until they ceased to function.
Finally, death could be brought by the complete annihilation of the body by forces such as experienced by a being inside an exploding place or hit by a deadly magical blast.
Death and culture
In society, the nature of death and awareness of its own mortality has for millennia been a concern of the world's religious traditions and of philosophical inquiry. This includes belief in resurrection or an afterlife (associated with Abrahamic religions), reincarnation or rebirth (associated with Dharmic religions), or that consciousness permanently ceases to exist, known as eternal oblivion (associated with atheism).
Commemoration ceremonies after death may include various mourning, funeral practices and ceremonies of honouring the deceased. The physical remains of a person, commonly known as a corpse or body, are usually interred whole or cremated, though among the world's cultures there are a variety of other methods of mortuary disposal.
Death is the center of many traditions and organizations; customs relating to death are a feature of every culture around the world. Much of this revolves around the care of the dead, as well as the afterlife and the disposal of bodies upon the onset of death. The disposal of human corpses does, in general, begin with the last offices before significant time has passed, and ritualistic ceremonies often occur, most commonly interment or cremation. This is not a unified practice; in_, for instance, the body is given a sky burial and left on a mountain top. Proper preparation for death and techniques and ceremonies for producing the ability to transfer one's spiritual attainments into another body (reincarnation) are subjects of detailed study in _. Mummification or embalming is also prevalent in some cultures, to retard the rate of decay.
Suicide in general, and particularly euthanasia, are also points of cultural debate. Both acts are understood very differently in different cultures. Death is personified in many cultures, with such symbolic representations as_. Much interest and debate surround the question of what happens to one's consciousness as one's body dies. The belief in the permanent loss of consciousness after death is often called eternal oblivion. Belief that consciousness is preserved after physical death is described by the term afterlife.
Death and law
Legal aspects of death are also part of many cultures, particularly the settlement of the deceased estate and the issues of inheritance and in some countries, inheritance taxation.
Although death is considered a part of life, there are several instances where death is not tolerated, namely in the unlawful taking of life such as various forms of murder, including genocide, the attempted extermination of an entire cultural group, race or species. Some sentences given to lawbreakers also include the ending of the criminal's life, which is known as execution. This kind of sentence is usually reserved for very serious charges, such as treason.
Capital punishment is also a culturally divisive aspect of death. In most jurisdictions where capital punishment is carried out today, the death penalty is reserved for premeditated murder, espionage, treason, or as part of military justice. In some countries, sexual crimes, such as adultery and sodomy, carry the death penalty, as do religious crimes such as apostasy, the formal renunciation of one's religion. In many retentionist countries, drug trafficking is also a capital offense. In _, human trafficking and serious cases of corruption are also punished by the death penalty. In militaries around the world courts-martial have imposed death sentences for offenses such as cowardice, desertion,insubordination, and mutiny.
Several _ attempted to "cheat death" in their own ways: _, as a spirit, used the Force to retain control over his physically dead and decaying body. _ used a supply of clone bodies, so he could possess a new body after the previous one died. Other _ have done the same, including _, whose decaying body was held together by the dark side and his own hatred, _, who transferred his consciousness to his armor, and _, whose spirit was imprisoned in the _ . _ tried to cheat death by putting his spirit into a talisman, until it was destroyed by _. Perhaps the most complete attempt at achieving physical immortality was the creation of the _ manipulation techniques of _. The ability could be used to revive the dead, regenerate injuries, and could halt the aging of a practitioner, all without the use of any external resources or energy sources.
Various species had varying lifespans, from under ten years to almost a millennium. Some species, such as _ were known to have indefinite lifespans. Long-lived species included_