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2017 | 29/1 |

Article title

An epistemological probing into the state and nature of death

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This study is an epistemological investigation into death state and some ways people are put to death in error due to misunderstanding of actual state of death. The study probes in philosophic mannerism into existing conditions under which people are certified dead and into understanding when someone is actually dead. It holds that there are no univocal conceptions about these conditions since their understanding vary from place to place and in the passage of time due to increase in knowledge and development in medicine. Since some of those who are confirmed and pronounced dead do wake up, the study argues that any existing method of ascertaining death state is epistemologically inefficient and suspicious. It then raises issues that appertain to the ignorance and incompetence of doctors and others who confirm death cases and their methods or instruments of confirming death. The study argues analogically that since some of those whom doctors discharge against medical advice get well and since other conclusions they reach about patients and health cases (while relying on their knowledge and instrument of investigations) do sometimes prove otherwise or deviate from reality, possibly, some of those they declared dead may actually be alive. The study extends this wrong confirmation of death cases to occurrences outside hospital environments and from non-medical practitioners from different cultures and argues that all such death declaration just like those declared by doctors could be in error of judgement. It then argues that since what it exactly means to be dead is incontrovertibly controversial among people and in time, caution should be exercised in order not to be stocking people alive in mortuary, harvesting the organs of living people mistaken to be dead and burying people alive who are thought dead since they might probably be alive.



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  • Oral Interviewee
  • John Airoboman, a farmer interviewed 30th of March, 2016.
  • Patrick Airoboman, a hospital worker interviewed 16th of May, 2016.
  • Alban Ahunanya, an agriculturist and optometrist interviewed 16th of May, 2016.
  • Otibhor Oribhabor, interviewed 11th of June 2016.

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