Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Taphophobia

  • Fear of being buried alive

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “Cremation eliminates all danger of being buried alive.”– “Short reasons for cremation,” an Australian pamphlet, c. 1900 It has been said that one of our most common fears is being buried alive.1 Someone is mistakenly thought dead, placed in a coffin, and buried. We will not discuss other forms of alive burials,…

  • The Lazarus phenomenon: When the dead return to life

    Tom SeweNairobi, Kenya It is a few minutes after 2 AM. A middle-aged woman lays motionless on a table in a hospital emergency department with tubes protruding from multiple orifices. The relentless cardiac monitor screams its flat-line signal as the code-blue team pants, scrubs clinging to their sweaty chests after a phenomenal forty-five-minute cardiopulmonary resuscitation…