• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Dying is a social as well as physiological phenomenon. Each society characterizes and, consequently, treats death and dying in its own individual ways—ways that differ markedly. These particular patterns of death and dying engender modal cultural responses, and such institutionalized behavior has familiar, economical, educational, religious, and political implications. The Handbook of Death and Dying takes stock of the vast literature in the field.

To Die, by Mistake: Accidental Deaths
To die, by mistake: Accidental deaths

On the evening of October 2, 1996, an AeroPeru Boeing 757, Flight 603, with 61 passengers and 9 crew members aboard, took off from Lima, Peru. Flight 603, however, did not make it to its final destination in Santiago, Chile. In fact, the aircraft and its passengers were doomed from the very moment of takeoff. Earlier that day, the airline's maintenance crew had taped over the plane's left-side static ports while they washed the fuselage of the plane, and, by mistake, they had failed to remove the protective covering after they were through. This seemingly insignificant oversight was actually a dangerous blunder, because with the plane's static ports covered, the flight crew would be ...

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