# Death Note: Old age as cause of death?

If you would write something like: "Bob Hyrule dies of old age", would this work?

Per "Can I increase my lifespan" question: NO!.

In the Death Note, you cannot set the death date longer than the victim’s original life span. Even if the victim’s death is set in the Death Note beyond his/her original life span, the victim will die before the set time.

The only reasonable way for him to die of old age would be if you want him to die of old age within 23 days. This requires him to be very old already.

But the Death Note can only operate within 23 days (in the human calendar). This is called the 23-day rule.

If that is the case, I'm not sure how idiopathic death from old age would present but there doesn't seem to be anything to prevent that "cause".

• if you write: john zeruo dies from [blank] disease, he would live over 23 days. Jun 27, 2014 at 20:50
• @user6399 He would not. The person will always die within 40 seconds, unless you specify a time and date. So in your case, the person will die from [blank] disease within 40 seconds, except if it is not possible for the victim to get a vital disease within 40 seconds. Then he would just die from a heart attack, because the conditions were impossible. It would be the same as writing "Person dies from accident", since you didn't specify a date, it will be in exactly 40 seconds of writing. Jun 29, 2014 at 23:09
• Please note (who ever downvoted) that this answer is not contradicted by Rule XXVII. Old age is not an illness. Jul 2, 2014 at 14:23
• but if the person is destined to die from old age, wouldn't that work? @Peter Raeves Oct 10, 2014 at 8:34

No, for two reasons:

1) "Old age" is not a cause of death. "Dying of old age" indicates when a person dies from some natural cause.

2) Following #1, you can only specify when a person will die if it's within 23 days.

Rule XXVII

If you write, "die of disease" for the cause of death, but only write a specific time of death without the actual name of disease, the human will die from an adequate disease. But the Death Note can only operate within 23 days (in the human calendar).

This is called the 23-day rule.

However, the very next rule makes it clear that it's possible to write a cause of death which allows the victim to live much longer than 23 days.

Rule XXVIII

If you write, "die of disease" like before with a specific disease’s name, but without a specific time, if it takes more than 24 days for the human to die the 23-day rule will not take effect and the human will die at an adequate time depending on the disease.

Therefore, you could write someone's name in the Death Note, with the cause of death being a disease that takes decades to develop. This would essentially make the victim immune to the Death Note, while still allowing them to live out a long life (assuming they would have lived a long life anyways).

Keep in mind that this cannot be used to extend someone's life, as the victim will still die at the end of their original lifespan.

Rule LVII

In the Death Note, you cannot set the death date longer than the victim’s original life-span. Even if the victim’s death is set in the Death Note beyond his/her original life-span, the victim will die before the set time.

I just realized a way Light could've guaranteed his safety with this rule, or at least his safety from other death notes and Ryuk. Suppose Light ordered Mikami to write his cause of death to be "rickets" or "huntington's disease" which both take decades upon decades to kill their victims and can even last into people's elderly years in his notebook. This means he would've have an immunity from death of notebook users and shinagamies. this also meant light would know is approximate time he had before death. This could've lead him to secure life (assuming he beat Near in the final showdown) for a very long time and even outsmarting Ryuk, because would never be able to kill him. even if he felt that he needed to die.