Death And Dying Essays

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Death & Dying - Euthanasia Essay

Words: 1165 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 67399499

On the other hand, it is much less clear what the presumed logical basis is of governmental intrusion into the choice to end one's life where that decision is made by a sane person who is not responsible for others.

In medicine, that dilemma arises only among patients whose choice to end life is motivated by the understandable desire to escape untreatable physical pain or discomfort.

In some cases, it is not necessarily pain per se that the patient, but physical or cognitive debilitation that patients wish to escape by authorizing their physicians to end their lives painlessly. Typically, Dr. Kevorkian's patients suffered from incurable illnesses and congenital diseases that caused them more pain than they wished to endure until their natural death. All of Dr. Kevorkian's patients suffered from incurable conditions that either caused continual physical pain that could not be relieved by any medical treatment or they wished to avoid a tremendously uncomfortable death, albeit by "natural causes," such as by slow suffocation from gradual paralysis of their respiratory function at the end stage of disease (Humphry, 2002; Martindale, 2007).

In the modern age of medicine, the arsenal of treatment modalities undeniably provides tremendous benefits to millions of people, the overwhelming vast majority of whom would gratefully welcome additional years of life made possible by medical science. Unfortunately, in a comparatively few cases, medical treatment that is perfectly routine in the modern medical era increases pain and suffering if the patient is deprived of the right to decide how much pain and/or debilitation is too much to endure. The "luckiest" of those patients need only refuse medical treatment that is necessary to prolong life. However, for the suffering patient whose medical health is "stable" from a clinical perspective, there is no legal right to solicit the assistance of physicians to end life.

While secular law in the U.S. should no longer incorporate any moral definitions of religious origin, it is interesting to note that the Bible condones killing (such as in self-defense) and distinguishes it from murder (such as motivated by malice or personal gain).

Distinctions of this type reflect a logical approach to the moral rightness of actions in relation to their specific circumstances. Modern secular legislators should employ similar reasoning in the case of exceptions to the general rule that human life is precious, simply because…… [Read More]

Humphry, D. (2002). Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying. Junction: Norris Lane Press.

Levine, C. (2008). Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Bioethical Issues 12th Ed. Dubuque Iowa: McGraw Hill.
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Death & Dying - Hospice Essay

Words: 989 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 41884798

During that time, I cannot recall mourning, but I cannot recall feeling much of anything else, either.

My grief returned more intensely than before at the graveside service.

Afterwards, I was exhausted by the emotional flood that I had experienced, but it is equally possible that the relief was more a function of all the energy that it had required not to release during the time between my father's death and his funeral. As powerful as the feelings of outright grief were some of the more unexpected feelings I began to experience in the next few weeks: feelings of anger at my father, anger at myself, shame, totally inexplicable feelings of hurt, and fear, and also relief.

A realized for the fist time, only weeks after my father's death, that I was angry at my father: angry that he'd refused the dialysis which could have prolonged his life; angry at having had to watch him die because of that decision. Consciously, I understood that my father's situation was terminal and that he deserved not to be in pain, but on some other level - perhaps the level of the child of his that I will always be - I was angry at him for choosing to leave us even a moment before he had to.

A realized that I was (simultaneously) angry at myself and ashamed, for having any feelings of anger at my father, who deserved only my sympathy and understanding. I was not conscious of it at the time, but I realized that I had also resented my father for having had to assume the role of his nurse, of which feelings I had also been in denial at the time. Acknowledging that resentment only lead to more feelings of shame at having the audacity to resent my father for having changed his diapers a few dozen times, compared to the many hundreds, if not thousands, of times that my father had done the same for me as an infant. Admittedly, I was also afraid of ever being in his condition.

When I finally admitted to myself that I also felt a measure of relief when he finally died, I felt a wave of shame for having thought as much of myself and the inconvenience it would have been to continue caring for my father at home, had he persisted very much longer than expected in…… [Read More]

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Death and Sustainable Happiness in Essay

Words: 580 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 81000162

Grief or loss can cause change -- force evolution, if you will, into the human ability for personal growth and self-actualization. Certainly grief is a human emotion; as much a part of us (Kubler-Ross, 2009). Psychologically, grief is a response to loss -- conventionally emotional, but also having physical, cognitive, social, philosophical, and even behavioral dimensions.

There are numerous theories about grief, some popularized, some scholarly, but all try to explain the "process" humans engender when dealing with loss. Even one of the more popularized, yet useful, theories, Kubler-Ross, though, states that the grief stages, "have evolved since their introduction, and they have been very misunderstood over the past three decades. They were never meant to tuck messy emotions into neat packages. They are responses to loss that many people have, but there is not a typical response to loss. There is no typical loss. Our grief is as individual as our lives" (Kubler-Ross, on Grief and Grieving, 2007, 1).

Potential Outline

Thesis, what are the issues, why is this important

Literature Review -- on death, dying and sustainable happiness


1. Humans and death -- historiography

2. Ethical models: deontology, utilitarianism, beneficence, etc. - bioethics

3. Biological aspects of death and dying -- technology? Wisdom?

4. Psychological and psychosocial aspects of death and dying

5. Death and the issue of senescence

6. What is sustainable happiness?

7. How is the concept of death related to sustainable happiness?

8. Tools and techniques to deal with death -- altruism, inspiration, sustainability

9. The quest for meaning in death -- why is death feared?

Conclusions -- How does death… [Read More]

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Death the Four Categories of Essay

Words: 2676 Length: 7 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 34163404

As one performs their dharma, they earn karma, which is the cause and effect aspect of Hinduism. Karma explains good actions bring good results, and by obeying this principle and dharma, one can experience rebirth into a "better" life that puts one in a stronger position to achieve moksha. The ultimate goal for any Hindu soul is to achieve moksha, which is the liberation from samsara, the cycle of life and death (Chidester: 85). The critical aspect of Hinduism is realizing when the body dies, the Self (Atman) does not die. The Self is carried from life to life, through reincarnation, and the secret to death is to realize the Supreme Self hidden in the heart through meditation and grace (Kramer: 30). Realizing Self in Hindu customs is required to achieve moksha, and be liberated from the endless round of birth, death, and rebirth of samsara. Only when the Self is realized can one truly achieve death.

The Buddhist concept of death is similar to Hinduism with respect to the idea of liberation. In Buddhism, samsara refers to the continuous flow of life and exposure to suffering. Buddhist understanding of death explains that all life is vulnerable to suffering, everything is constantly changing, what is born also dies, there is no fixed identity of Self that dies, and as long as one is consumed by grief one can not be released from the fear of death (Kramer: 44). Unlike Hinduism, Buddhists do not strive to achieve liberation in the form of moksha, but rather liberation by achieving nirvana through enlightenment. Nirvana is described as the "deathless place" but it is not a state, place, idea, dream, or future place -- it is a personal achievement that occurs as one no longer has desire or attachment, and life's illusions and ignorance are gone (Kramer: 53). The greatest difference between Buddhism and Hinduism is understanding of Self. Buddhists believe there is no Self to realize, there is an Awakening (anatta) in which a person is enlightened and removed from the ignorance associate with desires and attachment (Kramer: 53). This critical difference between the religions was offered by Buddha, and the teachings of…… [Read More]

Chidester, D. Patterns of Transcendence: Religion, Death, and Dying. 2nd ed. Belmont, CA:

Wadsworth Publishing, 2001. 1-216. Print.