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An ordinary death

09 March 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 5

The death of Queen Elizabeth II has the potential to teach us something about how to die. The late Queen's death is a helpful example of ordinary dying, the physical process of the body slowing down. In her later years the Queen gradually adapted to frailty – she travelled less and rested more, she delegated some duties to others, she conserved her energy. Mannix (2022), in a thread on Twitter, described how the death of the Queen would fit with the concept of ‘ordinary dying’ that has been used in health and care settings for many years. It refers to the modern dying process, where the person's symptoms are well controlled and the individual dies peacefully. However, those who are dying, as well as those caring for them, may not expect this ‘ordinary’ death and as such they may not recognise this as normal dying (Mannix, 2022).

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