right to die

(redirected from Dying With Dignity)
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Related to Dying With Dignity: euthanasia

right to die

n.
1. A person's right to refuse medical measures to prolong life, such as mechanical ventilation or hydration and nutrition, especially in the case of terminal illness.
2. The right of a person convicted of a capital crime to refuse to resist, such as through further appeals, the state's imposition of the death sentence.

right′-to-die′ adj.

right to die

The freedom to choose one's own end-of-life care by specifying, for example, whether one would permit or want life-prolonging treatments (e.g., intubation and mechanical ventilation); intravenous or enteral feedings; antibiotics (if infected); narcotic analgesics (if in pain); or medications to hasten death (e.g., in assisted suicide or euthanasia). The moral, ethical, or legal authority to make decisions about many of these issues is a topic of considerable controversy and confusion. Contemporary health care techniques often permit the prolongation of a patient's life, when, in the natural course of biological events, that life might have ended. The ability to postpone death, and the difficulty that health care providers have in predicting when death will occur, has generated many questions about the meaning of care and well-being at the margins of existence. Who should make decisions for patients when they cannot speak for themselves? How should one's wishes be expressed or codified? Who should carry them out if the patient cannot act on his or her own? When must a person's stated wishes be followed precisely, and when should they be factored in with the wishes of loved ones or of those acting on behalf of the patient? Should they ever be ignored or overruled? When does the aid given to a dying person compromise the moral or professional values of others or jeopardize the legal standing of the patient's caregiver? Many of these challenging questions remain unresolved.
See: advance directive; assisted suicide; care, end-of-life; euthanasia; suicide
References in periodicals archive ?
However, my present aim is to consider only one aspect of the larger realm of the virtue of dignity; that is, dying with dignity.
Now, dying with dignity is, in some ways, well suited to represent these more general ideas about the virtuous nature of dignified action.
As part of an explanation of this connection between living and dying with dignity, Dworkin has suggested that the value (and I would here emphasize the practice) of dignity is closely tied to the value of integrity.
Dr Sarah Edelman, a Clinical Psychologist and a member of Dying With Dignity, says the group's main goal is to influence the political process to bring about legislative change.
From a palliative nurse's perspective, dying with dignity is a very important goal of the care provided in palliative care.