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Ethical Issues of Death & Dying -- Research Starters Sociology

By: Wienclaw, Ruth A.;

2009 / EBSCO


Although ethics is concerned with the difference between right and wrong, what is right and what is wrong when it comes to issues of death and dying vary widely from culture to culture, religion to religion, and even individual to individual. There are three general sets of ethical issues that need to be faced when considering matters of death and dying: Defining life and the cessation thereof; determining the quality of life that the individual experiences, and; deciding how the body should be treated after death. For many people, the parameters of ethical behavior are defined by their religious beliefs. No matter how decisions of death are dying are informed, however, such questions are best faced when the individual is still mentally sound and able to communicate his/her wishes. This ensures that the wishes of the individual are fulfilled upon death and makes it easier for the family to make decisions and prepare for the loss of their loved one.