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HUMAN BODY The End Of Life movie online

In this final part of the story of the human body, we take a difficult journey to see what happens when this mass of biological activity ceases to be, to see how all the previous ages of our existence are undone in the final act, the end of life. The processes of death in the human body are remarkable. This is what it would look like if you could see the human body cool down over 24 hours. The end of life comes not as a single quick event, but a slow winding down. It is difficult to say when every cell in the body ceases to have life. Long before we stop breathing, our brain may die, our personality lost for ever. But the biology of death can seem cold and distant from the human story. I want to die at home because it is not nice to die in a hospital. There's nothing in there, you're only a number there, you know. But we have not always been so uneasy about confronting death. In the Capuchin catacombs in Sicily, 8,000 bodies are preserved. Here, families would come to visit their loved ones.

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To our eyes, this may seem a gruesome spectacle, but to 19th-century Sicilians, the end of life was not something to recoil from in fear and dread. Walking along these narrow corridors, I must confess to feeling both fascinated and repulsed by this spectacle of death. But an understanding of what happens to us when we die can do much to ease our fears and dispel our anxieties. The human body has many attributes which are unique, but I think our ability to face our own death is perhaps the most remarkable. Herbie, together with Hannelorre, has decided to let us film the final moments of his life. I know I will never see this film in my lifetime. No, it has spilled out a little bit more here, on top, hasn't it, over the last week? Yes. I like it that everybody can see that a human being can manage an illness like mine. Everybody can see in this film that there is a way to make the best of the end of your life. OK, that seems fine. Your bowel sounds are perfectly normal. How is your energy at the moment? I can walk around, so my energy's good. I can't lift much any more, I'm not so strong. Herbie receives regular visits from his local hospice workers. They look after his pain control and help Herbie and Hannelorre cope with the prospect of his dying. They're gorgeous. They've gotten so big, haven't they? Oh, they're lovely. The hospice worker and I, we talk very close together, and we trust each other. I'm not worried about when I die, tomorrow, today, in a couple of months. I know what's coming, and I face it. The end of life seems an entirely cruel and negative event, bringing loss and bereavement. Yet, from the very start, there is a fundamental link between life and death in our bodies. Our bodies are built from organized colonies of cells. What we see when we look at ourselves are vast communities of cells, billions of them. Each one plays a particular role a heart cell, a muscle cell, a brain cell. In an incredible act of harmony and organization, they work together, performing the functions of the organ they belong to. Then cells are systematically destroyed, sculpting the fingers and the gaps between, in much the same way a sculptor chips away a block of stone. From the very beginning of the human body's journey, the end of life becomes an essential part of life. Under the microscope, we can see how cells are destroyed. This process continues throughout our lives, as cells become damaged, or just worn out. During the course of this programme, around a billion cells in your body will die. This programmed cell death keeps us healthy and alive. In this way we can think of the end of life as part of the creative force of life. But do our own deaths play a part in the larger human story? Are we like cells in some cosmic machine, our deaths serving a greater unseen purpose? Well, sadly not. It seems that death is the price we pay for having sex. When we have sex, we can create new life. But we do not just produce copies of ourselves. Each one of these babies is unique, the result of the particular mix of their parents' genes. Through evolution, winning combinations of genes get passed on from generation to generation. This process, which we call natural selection, has speeded up our ability to adapt and evolve. Without sex, and the mixing of genes, we would never have evolved into such complex organisms. But as individuals, we do pay a price for such success. Once you've had sex and passed on your genes, your job is done. You hand over the genetic baton and the relay race carries on without you. Your own fate is unimportant, and death waits to catch you up. So, it seems that we are just vehicles for our genetic material. We die. Only our genes are immortal. With the arrival of winter in Ireland, Herbie's health gradually declines. He has good days and he has bad days. Hannelorre phoned this morning and said that you had a lot of pain. Was it during the night or this morning? It was the whole night. When he wakes me this morning before 5 o'clock, I looked at him and said to myself, this is the time that he is dying, or something. He was so sick? Everything was so different. His face, it was so strange to me. When I saw you, you were in agony. And this is only with the pain. I don't like the pain. I was so frightened? It's unbelievable. I was thinking, it's the end, it's the end of his life, but he was lucky enough. He's a very strong person, and he fights. I hope I'll see the springtime. Oh, but you will. Why won't you? Keep doing what you're doing now. I had a couple of bad moments. I can give myself a boost. Now I get a bit extra. When I'm in pain, it is very, very bad. I get in a bad mood, and feel low, you know. I can't do anything, neither lies down nor sits. No matter what, I have to have this medication. I can't do without it any more. Modern advances in pain relief mean that we can now control many aspects of dying. And our modern medicine has also changed many of the causes of death. Better health care, combined with better nutrition and cleaner water, mean that we now live twice as long as we did a hundred years ago. I was sitting in this chair watching a football game on television. I got my first surge of pain from my heart to the right side of my chest. The pain started to travel in my back, to my back area, and I figured that it was a heart attack. The human heart pumps 7,500 litres of blood a day. These small arteries, less than a millimeter wide, supply blood to the heart muscle. Here, a tiny blockage is hampering the supply to one of the arteries. They had me on the table at about 12 o'clock, and I watched on a monitor as they went through each of my arteries. It was one little clot that caused that entire problem. The patient starts to feel a variety of symptoms. I literally felt the pain start from the centre of my chest, and I felt the whole thing go down both arms. It was almost like my chest was in a vice and I was being crushed as the vice was being turned, tighter and tighter. When the cardiologist came in, he had seen my EKG, and he went into the hall with the other doctors and interns and so on, severe attacks can lead to cardiac arrest, where the heart stops beating altogether. Now, the blockage stops the flow of blood. Starved of oxygen and glucose, it is only minutes before the heart muscle dies. Time is running out. Electrical instability causes the heart to beat erratically. As the heart quivers, it is unable to pump the blood around the body. This is the critical moment. Without a supply of blood, the brain fails within five minutes. Then breathing and respiration stops. Death is moments away. In a few moments, this beating human heart will be stopped, this time not by a heart attack, but for an operation. The patient is no longer breathing. A machine takes over the task of the heart and lungs. A small electric current breaks the heart's rhythmic beat, leaving it quivering, as if gripped by a heart attack. OK, that's better. Now the heart's just twitching? This is a heart bypass operation. While the heart is not moving, the surgeon can reroute blood vessels to parts of the heart muscle where clogged arteries are restricting the flow. Another stitch, please... The bizarre thing is that if I saw somebody in this condition outside the operating theatre, I'd think they were dead. He's no pulse, he's not breathing, and the heart's not beating at all. A little bit towards me, please. Yet, in a short time, this patient will be awake and chatting with his family. These days, we can't decide that a person is dead just by seeing if their heart has stopped. Instead, we look to the brain and to one vital part the brainstem. Buried at the back of the head, the brainstem is a relic of our ancient past. Millions of years ago, this was all the brain our distant ancestors had. They were primitive creatures; in fact, it is still called the reptile brain. Evolution has buried it under layers of a more complex brain, but it is still the foundation of life. It controls our most basic functions: keeping our heart beating, breathing, regulating blood pressure and the body's temperature. That's why, when the brainstem dies, doctors can be certain that a patient is clinically dead.

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I had to take them out of the water this morning. Isn't he horrible! Now we're ready for Christmas. Happy Christmas, Herbie. Christmastime was really nice, as Herbie was feeling so well, and friends came. We had a lovely dinner, and Herbie had three glasses of champagne. But when the New Year started, he got weak and he got depressed. I thought that every day he was going downhill. This was for me very disappointing and sad. I wanted... I decided to get an injection... You know, I didn't want to live any more feeling like this. You know, normally I'm not a man who gives up so quickly, never. But at that moment I wanted to give up. So, I asked the nurse, and I agreed with this. A hundred and twenty eight sensors pick up tiny electrical signals emitted as my brain cells fire. This is the pattern produced when I am relaxed. All this activity is simply the result of doing nothing.

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As soon as I open my eyes, the brain leaps into action. Even the simple task of watching television involves my brain in millions of actions. A single second stretched into a thousand steps shows swirls of activity sweeping all over my head. First, the information travels to the back of my brain. From there, the activity moves through the short-term memory areas, and then to the front of the brain, the part actually involved in thinking. The question is, can we find a single part of the brain that gives me my sense of myself that makes me Robert Winston? Well, it seems that the brain is just a bit more complicated than that.

The End Of Life quotes

In fact, it appears to work something like an orchestra. There are areas that do different things: the string section, the conductor, and the brass players. But the output the music, if you like - isn't just about the areas that work, but about the order that they work in. They keep our cells healthy by regulating the delicate chemical balances in the body. Show me your pulse, Herbie. It's very important. If these organs fail, the balance is lost, and the body can no longer sustain life. Is your brother coming to see you? My brother is coming tonight. So that'll be fun. Maybe it's the last time I'll see him. Oh, I don't think so. I hope not. I feel it myself; it's coming to the end now. You think that? I feel it, yeah. And that doesn't worry you unduly? No, it doesn't worry me. I know it.
 
 

Pictures

 
The End Of Life movie online picture 1 - The cells are systematically destroyed, sculpting the fingers and the gaps between
The cells are systematically destroyed, sculpting the fingers and the gaps between
  picture 2 - It seems that we are just vehicles for our genetic material
It seems that we are just vehicles for our genetic material
  picture 3 - Without a supply of blood, the brain fails within five minutes
Without a supply of blood, the brain fails within five minutes
 

The End Of Life comments

I think you're extraordinary. Sunday's his birthday. It's your birthday? I didn't know that. So what age will you be? Sixty-three. Not a bad age. I'm absolutely delighted that I can see springtime. The season has changed. The weather is a little better, the sun is coming out. Anyway, I'm a man; I like nature, the flowers and the trees, when they start to bloom. I never know what will happen tomorrow. And then, down in the distance, you could see this little speck of light, which gradually got bigger and bigger, as it would if you were in a tunnel, and there's light at the end of it.

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We travelled at some great speed and distance through the tunnel. Everything that ever was, is, and will be was contained in this radiance. Nearly all who have come close to death give the same accounts of out-of-body sensations and tunnels of light. Similar experiences are also reported by fighter pilots when, subjected to massive acceleration, they lose consciousness. Video tapes are on; platform and gunwale have been secured. Flight deck is ready. This is the world's largest centrifuge. It is used to investigate the effects of high G forces on pilots. Subjects can be spun so fast that the blood drains from their brain and they black out.
 
picture 4 - When someone dies, we miss all the things which make them human: their personality, their unique identity, their emotion
When someone dies, we miss all the things which make them human: their personality, their unique identity, their emotion
  picture 5 - A single second stretched into a thousand steps shows swirls of activity sweeping all over the head
A single second stretched into a thousand steps shows swirls of activity sweeping all over the head
  picture 6 - If these organs fail, the balance is lost, and the body can no longer sustain life
If these organs fail, the balance is lost, and the body can no longer sustain life
 
picture 7 - We can never know what it's like to die
We can never know what it's like to die
  picture 8 - I became aware that I was in a tunnel, there's no other way of describing it
I became aware that I was in a tunnel, there's no other way of describing it
  picture 9 - My wish is that all my friends and neighbours live together in peace
My wish is that all my friends and neighbours live together in peace
Human Body The End Of Life movie
Human Body The End Of Life movie
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