Bioethics Blogs

Death Rate Is 120 per Minute

65 million people die each year in the world.  That is 178,000 each day, 7425 each hour, and 120 each minute.  

The United States population is 1/24th of the world population (320 million of 7.6 billion).  In the United States, 2.6 million die each year.  That is 7123 each day, 297 each hour, and 5 each minute.

Unfortunately, many of these U.S. deaths are faster or slower than the individuals concerned would have preferred.  Dying too slowly is the far larger error.  These individuals are restricted from a more comfortable and peaceful death by their clinicians, by law, or by their own lack of advance care planning.  

The smaller error is dying too fast.  These individuals are forced or coerced into dying sooner than they would have preferred.  For example, roughly 1 death each minute is from medical error.  

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.