I am kind of shocked at this. thomas jefferson and john Adams died on the 4th of July... and many Americans believed that they hung on til then so that they could live til the 4TH. Study must be faulty.
False perception about holidays and dying
Wednesday, December 22, 2004 Posted: 2:52 AM EST (0752 GMT)
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CHICAGO, Illinois (Reuters) -- The common perception that terminally ill people try to hang on until after a major event like their birthday or a big holiday isn't true, a study has shown.
Records for more than 300,000 cancer victims who died in the state of Ohio between 1989 and 2000 showed they had no special capability or willingness to keep going until after Christmas, Thanksgiving, or their birthdays, the report said on Tuesday.
"Analysis of thousands of cancer deaths shows no pattern to support the concept that 'death takes a holiday,"' Ohio State University researcher Donn Young wrote in a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
"There's a widespread belief that patients can prolong their lives -- patients who are dying of chronic disease -- to survive a significant occasion such as a religious holiday or their birthday," he said, referring to smaller earlier studies that suggested patients' willpower can stave off the end.
The study found woman cancer victims tended to die right before their birthdays, not after.
"Although we cannot eliminate the possibility that a small number of dying cancer patients have the ability to control the timing of their death, the proportion would have to be much smaller than that previously reported," he said.