Document Detail

Is there such a thing as a good death?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15332418     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The idea of a 'good death' is one which has been central to the palliative care movement but which in fact predates it. A number of recent articles have grappled with the concept. It is a subject which is difficult to quantify scientifically and this article explores the territory using a number of philosophical, theological, historical and literary sources. The changing meaning of the concept is traced through the premodern, modern and postmodern periods. In particular the influence on Western ideals about death of the two paradigmatic stories of the deaths of Socrates and Jesus are examined. It is argued that the dualistic thinking of Plato, which often underlies our thinking about death, is no longer adequate and the author offers the thinking of the Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno as an alternative way of approaching our attitudes to death. Although the article does not seek to give a definitive answer to the question it raises, it suggests that thinking about good death should be broadened to accept the struggle with which many people face their death.
Geoffrey Walters
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Palliative medicine     Volume:  18     ISSN:  0269-2163     ISO Abbreviation:  Palliat Med     Publication Date:  2004 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-08-30     Completed Date:  2004-11-02     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8704926     Medline TA:  Palliat Med     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  404-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Pilgrims Hospices of East Kent, Ashford, Kent.
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MeSH Terms
Attitude to Death*
Terminal Care*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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