Saturday, August 06, 2011

How would you like to die?

How would you like to die? is a question posed in today's issue of Ethics and Medicine. Most people answer in one word, "Suddenly." Other's would prefer not to die at all. However historically people have seen death as unavoidable and sudden death as particularly lamentable. Although no-one relished extended suffering, the terminal condition gave opportunity to make peace with others, with God and perhaps with death itself. Death was not welcomed in most cases, but its inevitability meant that 'dying well' meant not only dying as painlessly as possible, but dying with one's accounts in order. Sudden death robs us of the opportunity of reconciliation.

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