Curious George: Dying peacefully? Seeing the story on Janet Leigh's death it was written that she "died peacefully at home". This reminds me of concepts like dying of old age, and how old people in tribal cultures would go off to die. It got me to wondering: is it physiologically possible to "die peacefully"? Do the primal survival instincts just get turned off like a switch? Or can we pretty much count on a gasping struggle in those last seconds if we're not mercifully knocked out with anesthetics?