A follow up to Andrew's post on Victorian death images notes:
In regards to the Victorian post-mortem photographs, notice how very, very many of them are children. Sometimes infants, sometimes toddlers or school-age kids, but children. Not teenagers who might have been working (it was the Victorian era, after all), not young adults who might have died by violence that perhaps they might have been partially responsible for. Children. I'm an ICU physician in a busy pediatric intensive care unit. I've seen enough children die to last me the rest of my or anybody else's life. I'm as aware as anyone what an awful, nearly-irrecoverable mess we in this country have made of the environment, of national and global politics, of the economy.
But one thing tells me that there's a chance for humanity - so many fewer dead children.
The thing that struck me is how sickly the children in the photos are, dead and living. Oversized heads, pinched faces, scrawny bodies. Presumably the legacy of poorer nutrition and endemic disease. It's really astonishing how lucky today's Americans have been in both time and space.