Mark Kessell

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Post Mortal State
Post Mortal State
Serial No. 1277
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This elderly woman is in the terminal phase of Alzheimer’s disease. She can no longer register new memories and recalls nothing of her long and eventful life. She recognizes neither her children, nor the home in which she has lived for half a century. She no longer has the capacity to respond to her environment and is now without one of the defining hallmarks of our species: she has no sense of self-awareness.

All the faculties which made her recognizable as "a person" have been destroyed by her disease. Yet she is genetically normal and certainly appears to be human. What, then, constitutes being human?

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