“LOS ANGELES - Bettie Page, the 1950s secretary-turned-model whose controversial photographs in skimpy attire or none at all helped set the stage for the 1960s sexual revolution, died Thursday. She was 85.
Page suffered a heart attack last week in Los Angeles and never regained consciousness, her agent Mark Roesler said. Before the heart attack, Page had been hospitalized for three weeks with pneumonia.” - - Associated Press (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28185814/ )
This story got me thinking about something that itched at the back of my mind for a while. I remember a time when people and news reports would simply state that a person died of “old age”; or that the person “passed away.” I think it has been decades since I can remember either of those two terms being used in relation to the death of someone. Now, when I hear that someone has died, the immediate follow up question is “what did they die of?” And modern medicine always has an accurate answer to that question: Pneumonia, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, respiratory failure, or ‘heart complications’. No one dies of old age anymore. It appears as if the medical community (and the media) is saying “DEATH IS CURABLE!” And, I am sure money is somehow involved with that cure. Maybe this campaign is spreading a subliminal fear of death throughout the nation – if not the world. Now, please don’t get me wrong; dying of cancers, diseases, tumors, etc may not be the natural thing, but when I am finally too old I would imagine that I might have ‘heart complications’ or respiratory failure….