The doctor explains exactly what happens when you die – and how it feels

Death is inevitable for all of us, but what actually happens is still a mystery – now a doctor who works with people on the brink of death has explained what he’s seen in his patients

Little is known about what happens when someone dies
Little is known about what happens when someone dies

A palliative care practitioner who has seen hundreds of people die through his work revealed what happens when someone dies and how it feels for the unfortunate person who dies.

Despite the sad truth that death awaits us all at the end, scientists know very little about the processes involved.

Studies on the natural phenomenon are few and far between, which is why some physicians publish their own experiences with patients, the reports To express.

One palliative care expert has explained that the dying process usually occurs about two weeks before definitive cardiac arrest.

Everyone experiences their final moments differently


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Seamus Coyle, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool, spoke about the process of dying in an article for The Conversation.

He said: “As an expert in palliative care, I think there is a process of dying that takes place two weeks before we die. During this time, the human tends to become less healthy.

“They usually have trouble walking and become more sleepy – they manage to stay awake for shorter and shorter periods of time.

“Towards the last days of life, they lose the ability to swallow pills or eat and drink.

“It’s around this time that we say people are ‘actively dying,’ and we usually think that means they have two to three days to live.

“However, some people will go through this entire phase in one day.

“And some people can actually stay on the brink of death for almost a week before they die, which is usually extremely distressing for families

“So different things happen with different people, and we can’t predict them.”

Mr Coyle said reassuringly: “In general, it seems like people’s pain eases during the dying process.”


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What actually goes on in the body at the moment of death is largely unknown, but some studies predict that a deluge of chemicals is released from the brain.

These include endorphins, which can produce euphoric feelings in a person.

Mr Coyle said: “The actual moment of death is difficult to decipher. However, a yet unpublished study suggests that the body’s stress chemicals increase as one gets closer to death.

“In people with cancer, and maybe others, markers of inflammation go up.

“These are the chemicals that increase as the body fights an infection.

What happens after death is unclear


(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

“In general, people’s pain seems to lessen during the dying process.

“We don’t know why that is – it could be related to endorphins. No research has been done here either.

“Ultimately, every death is different – and you can’t predict who will have a peaceful death. I think some of the ones I saw die didn’t benefit from an onslaught of feel-good chemicals.

“For example, I can think of some younger people in my care who have had a hard time accepting their deaths.

“They had young families and never settled down during the dying process.”

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