journal of undergraduate research
rom the time describe dead persons awakening during unerals andexhumed bodies ound to have clawed at their co n lids.
In an e-ort to prevent premature burials, many Enlightenment physiciansproposed putreaction (decomposition) as the only reliable sign o death. Tis method worked, but it created signicant public healthissues or the surrounding community. As the Enlightenment came to a close, medical expertise becamemore common and eective. Te invention o the stethoscope in1816 made it easier or physicians to identiy normal and abnormalheart-sounds, which they quickly began to associate with certainmedical problems.
Tis new ability—as well as the advancement o pathology and other research initiatives—allowed the medical eldto gain signicant insight into the nature o disease and death.
1.2 Te riangle o Lie: the Brain, Heart, and Lungs
In 1800, Marie François Xavier Bichat, a renowned French phys-iologist, published his
Recherches physiologiques sur la vie et la mort (Physiological research on lie and death)
. Medical historian ElizabethHaigh considers the work a synthesis o nearly all the importantmedical concepts that had evolved in the eighteenth century; she be-lieves the book is an appropriate indicator o contemporary medicalthought.
Bichat, the ounder o Doctor Larivière’s surgical school,opened his study with the assertion: “Lie consists in the sum o theunctions which resist death.”
Bichat then identied two separatelives that made up an individual:
. For Bichat,organic lie was the essential aspect o lie held in common by allliving things.
In humans, or example, organic unctions were thehomeostatic and autonomic unctions, such as respiration, circula-tion, and metabolism. By contrast, animal lie was the irregular, ra-tional, and habitual lie.
Bichat believed that the organic lie beganat conception; and that animal lie began at birth and was the rst toleave the body at death. Tese organic and animal lives were distinctthroughout the lie o the body. “While the organic lie may exist