Journal of Medical Ethics 28 (4):255-257 (2002)
AbstractThe purpose of this article is to develop a conception of death with dignity and to examine whether it is vulnerable to the sort of criticisms that have been made of other conceptions. In this conception “death” is taken to apply to the process of dying; “dignity” is taken to be something that attaches to people because of their personal qualities. In particular, someone lives with dignity if they live well (in accordance with reason, as Aristotle would see it). It follows that health care professionals cannot confer on patients either dignity or death with dignity. They can, however, attempt to ensure that the patient dies without indignity. Indignities are affronts to human dignity, and include such things as serious pain and the exclusion of patients from involvement in decisions about their lives and deaths. This fairly modest conception of death with dignity avoids the traps of being overly subjective or of viewing the sick and helpless as “undignified”.
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Citations of this work
The Particularity of Dignity: Relational Engagement in Care at the End of Life.Jeannette Pols, Bernike Pasveer & Dick Willems - 2018 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 21 (1):89-100.
Current Controversies and Irresolvable Disagreement: The Case of Vincent Lambert and the Role of ‘Dissensus’.Dominic Wilkinson & Julian Savulescu - 2019 - Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (10):631-635.
Ageing Prisoners’ Views on Death and Dying: Contemplating End-of-Life in Prison.Violet Handtke & Tenzin Wangmo - 2014 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 11 (3):373-386.
On the Indignity of Killer Robots.Garry Young - 2021 - Ethics and Information Technology 23 (3):473-482.
Attitudes Towards Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia Among Care-Dependent Older Adults (50+) in Austria: The Role of Socio-Demographics, Religiosity, Physical Illness, Psychological Distress, and Social Isolation.Erwin Stolz, Hannes Mayerl, Peter Gasser-Steiner & Wolfgang Freidl - 2017 - BMC Medical Ethics 18 (1):1-13.