death and dying death and dying

Matt Larson, shortly after his brain surgery, with his wife, Kelly. Larson says he would like the option to end his life rather than face a painful death. Courtesy of Matt Larson hide caption

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Courtesy of Matt Larson

Debbie Ziegler holds a photo of her late daughter, Brittany Maynard, after the California State Assembly approved a right-to-die measure on Sept. 9. Maynard died on Nov. 1, 2014. Rich Pedroncelli/AP hide caption

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Rich Pedroncelli/AP

A photo of Brittany Maynard, who moved to Oregon to end her life as she was dying of brain cancer, sits on the dais of the California Senate's health committee in March. Rich Pedroncelli/AP hide caption

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Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Of I Wish You the Sunshine of Tomorrow, Rodgers says: "The ICU room my dad was in on the day he died had yellow walls. Every time we visited him we had to wear hospital gowns that were a bright yellow. [It] was a recurring color in that whole time frame of my life." Courtesy of Jennifer Rodgers hide caption

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Courtesy of Jennifer Rodgers

County employees, media and mourners gather for the ceremony honoring the 1,489 people whose unclaimed remains are being buried in the LA County Cemetery this year. Arun Rath/NPR hide caption

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Arun Rath/NPR

LA's Unclaimed Dead Receive Prayers, And A Final Resting Place

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Medical Examiner: 'Staying Alive Is Mostly Common Sense'

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Tammy Heinsohn (left) and Carolyn Wilson sing in the meditation room of Alive Hospice in Nashville. They're part of the Threshold Choir, which sings to the dying. Emily Siner/Nashville Public Radio hide caption

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Emily Siner/Nashville Public Radio

At Life's Last Threshold, Choir Brings Comfort

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Given how little we understand about the roots of consciousness, it simply doesn't make a whole lot of sense to make commitments one way or the other when it comes to questions of what exactly dies and how. Duncan P. Walker/iStockphoto hide caption

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Duncan P. Walker/iStockphoto

To children the world is a vast experiment, a laboratory of how things interact with one another. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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