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Observations placeholder

Hack Tuke, Daniel – Sickness - Cardiac arrest induced by powerful emotions – Lust



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

As described in Illustrations Of The Influence Of The Mind Upon The Body In Health And Disease, Designed To Elucidate The Action Of The Imagination - Daniel Hack Tuke, M.D., M.R.C.P.,


Tissot quotes from Water (" Miscellaneous Natural Curiosities," pp. 162-298) the case of a military man, who being about to possess the object of his desire, was so overjoyed that he suddenly expired. A post-mortem examination was made, and the pericardium was found to be distended with blood, although no rupture of the heart could be discovered.

Joy caused actual death, according to Hume, at the restoration of Charles II. Dr. Rush says there was a time when he doubted the truth of this assertion,

 "but," he adds, "I am now disposed to believe it, from having heard of a similar effect from an agreeable political event, in the course of the American Revolution. The doorkeeper of Congress, an aged man, died suddenly, immediately after hearing of the capture of Lord Cornwallis's army. His death was universally ascribed to a violent emotion of political joy. This species of joy appears to be one of the strongest emotions that can agitate the human mind" (Medical Inquiries and Observations. By Benjamin Bush, M D., Professor of the Institutes and Practice of Medicine, and of Clinical Practice, in the University of Pennsylvania. 4 vols, in two. 4th Edit. Philadelphia, 1815., p. 132).

In this case and in the following, it is more than probable that death was the result of cardiac and not cerebral mischief:

"A curious and sombre incident is reported from the gaming- table of KSthen [sic], in the Principality of Anhalt. A middle-aged man entered the room, and sat down to play. After a run of great luck, his winnings had augmented to the sum of a thousand ducats — equal to nearly five hundred pounds sterling — which the croupier pushed over to him. The fortunate gambler did not appear very anxious to have the gold or notes, and made no response when he was asked if he wished to continue playing. One of the servants of the establishment touched him upon the shoulder to draw attention to the unheeded winnings, and to the croupier's question, but the man remained strangely immovable; and when they came to look closer, they found that he was dead. He had 'passed' like the red ! Rien ne va plus had proved true of himself, as well as of the last roll of the ball. Was it his good luck that had been too much for him ? ……………..The croupier no sooner perceived that Death had backed 'zero’ and won, than he raked the dead man's gold and billets back into the bank, declaring that a corpse could have no engagement or rights.. The heirs of the defunct gamester are not satisfied with this axiom, and have commenced an action for the recovery of the sum." — (Daily Telegraph, March 7th, 1870.)

The source of the experience

Hack Tuke, Daniel

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Types of hurt and organs

Activities and commonsteps



Cardiac arrest
Extreme emotion