Breathe /brēT͟H/ (verb) to move air into and out of your lungs
Air \ˈer\ (noun) the invisible mixture of gases (such as nitrogen and oxygen) that surrounds the Earth and that people and animals breathe
We, meaning humans, breathe on earth. We take in air through our nose (or mouth) into the lungs- inhale- and we release air from our lungs out through our nose (or mouth)- exhale. But that is on the earth.
What about in space? Let’s say you traveled out to space and left your spaceship without a helmet or other breathing necessities. Let’s say you tried to breathe. You can’t. There’s no air in space. There’s no air that can be inhaled through your nose and therefore there is no exhale either. So… now what?
A medical examiner would say you died by asphyxiation.
Asphyxiate / as·phyx·i·ate/ (verb) to kill or make unconscious through inadequate oxygen, presence of noxious agents, or other obstruction to normal breathing
But the use of the word “normal breathing” implies that at one point you were breathing. However, you were not breathing. Your state, once you stepped out of your spaceship, was not one of breathing and therefore there wasn’t a change of state from breathing to not breathing. Thus, death by asphyxiation isn’t quite accurate.
The argument could be made that there was a state change from being inside the ship to being outside of the ship in which you went from breathing to not breathing. In which case, death by asphyxiation is entirely accurate.
What do you think? Death by asphyxiation in this case- true or not true?
A friend of mine and I had this discussion earlier today, I thought I would share the gist of it.