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Why the world needs to get ready for more people dying

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  • Why the world needs to get ready for more people dying

    Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-43159823

    Why the world needs to get ready for more people dying
    By Dr Katherine Sleeman King's College London
    2 March 2018

    For decades, lifespans have grown ever longer, delaying the inevitable fact of death. But the coming years will see a sharp rise in the number of people dying, presenting a challenge about how we care for those at the end of life.

    We started the 20th Century without penicillin, but now genomic medicine raises the possibility of increasingly sophisticated treatments tailored to an individual's genetics.

    In little more than a century, medical and scientific breakthroughs like these have seen life expectancy increase dramatically - by about 30 years, to 79 for men and 83 for women in England, for example.

    Death had been an unpredictable event: most people died suddenly, often from infectious diseases.

    Now, infectious diseases that were once fatal are curable, improved survival rates mean many people live for years with cancer, while dementia has become the most common cause of death in England and Wales.

    We are living longer and dying slower, but how well prepared are we for the challenges that come with that?...

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