In a chilling scene in Heinlein’s Between Planets, a torturer trying to extract information from the young hero tells him that his uncle has died of a heart attack. He then adds that since everyone dies when his heart stops beating, every death can be described as a heart attack. (Update: this plot summary is inaccurate. Correction here.)
I suppose I should be glad to know that whoever was filling out the death certificates for the Abu Ghraib victims knew his Heinlein, but I’m really not.
I’m really, really, really not. “Cardiac arrest of unknown etiology” on a victim who has been beaten to death? Pah!
(The rest of the story is even more chilling: it asserts that the case involved an innocent family held up back a blackmailer. But that part can’t easily be verified. The part about the condition of the body and what’s written on the death certificate can be verified, and apparently was verified by the Guardian.)