Re: Cause of Death-Elmebaj #hungary

tom klein <h-sig@...>

based purely on the language (i am not a doctor), i would say that "elmebaj" refers to strictly psychological illness rather than something like stroke.

granted that "psychosis" is not normally fatal, psychiatric problems could cause death, especially where there aren't fancy medical treatments (such as anti-depressants, tranquilizers, intravenous feeding, etc.) available. in addition to intentional suicide, irrational behaviour could also lead to harm such as starvation or other, accidental, injuries.

it also might have been suicide (hungary has had a remarkably high rate), in which case it may have been ascribed to mental illness to avoid stigmatizing the deceased and to soften the blow to the bereaved family.

and it's also important to consider the prejudices of the time, where mental illness was considered a hereditary disease, so the doctor may have been predisposed to finding it in others in the same family. also, if the time period is right, there was considerable interest in mental illness, spurred by the publication (and celebrity) of sigmund freud's work.

....... tom klein, toronto

"Katz, Itzik" <> wrote:

On two of my grandfather's sibling death-records the cause of death
is specified as "Elmebaj" which literally translates to psychosis.

I find it very difficult to accept psychosis as a cause of death
unless the persons in question committed suicide.

Do you know of another possible translation to this cause of death or
any other explanation why would this be written as a cause of death?
Can this mean "stroke" instead of psychosis?

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