Therapeutic Dying

Hastings Center Report 44 (6):5-6 (2014)
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Abstract

At face value, his question seemed sensible. We target cancer with chemotherapy and bone pain with narcotics. Why not also treat the “pathology” of dying? There exists precedent, after all, for the medicalization of less common human traits or conditions: shyness has become social anxiety disorder, and nocturnal leg jerking has become periodic limb movement disorder. We have developed therapies for these. It could follow that Mr. Roberts's dying might become a “life sustenance disorder” for which we could also prescribe therapy.

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