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"The world is really so surreal these days that it's necessary for us to blunt it somehow in order to stay sane. The artist functions to short-circuit the buffering mechanism, so that people can occasionally perceive the weirdness of things as they are."
- William Gibson

Death-Rattle  
  A device that sends a signal upon brain death of the user.  

This is an early reference to the idea of a tag or medallion that performs a continuous medical monitoring function, and then communicates that information wirelessly to another location.

Heimie and died, and his death - the cessation of his neural pattern - had triggered off an automatic squawk. A rattle didnít particularly protect its owner, but its existence ensured (or usually ensured) detection of the murderer. Why had it failed Heimie?

ÖTirol hadnít known about Heimieís death rattle; Heimie had been wise enough to do the installation privately.

From The Unreconstructed M, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Science Fiction Stories in 1957
Additional resources -

Compare to the Death-Rattle file from Dick's 1965 novel The Zap Gun and to the Taprisiot monitor bead from Frank Herbert's 1977 novel The Dosadi Experiment.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Unreconstructed M
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to The Unreconstructed M
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

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