Tweeting Your Demise

Dr. Mark Taubert wonders if palliative care will soon include social media assistance:

Consider the following situation: a patient in a hospital ward posts ‘Dead’ in her/his online microblog status update. She/he is in the final stages of a terminal illness. She/he, or a relative/friend, posted this message using a smart phone device from her/his hospital bed. The ward receives phone calls from those who have read the status update. “Is she really dead?” The patient is very sick, but not dead. But it is, as it subsequently turns out, her/his last ever online status update.

This really happened, and similar stories are likely to recur. Our digital society now captures all life moments, from gestation to death.

Seen above is the final tweet from the Dish’s Face of the Year, who starved himself after being denied euthanasia.