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The Dying Process across Human Life Cycle: Ethical Considerations on Terminal Care

DOI: 10.4236/ojmp.2020.94011, PP. 141-149

Keywords: Terminal Care, Decision-Making, Autonomy, Bioethics, Developmental Psychology

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Abstract:

Dying is an event that affects human development throughout the life cycle—impacting individuals, communities, and society. Providing terminal care may mitigate the suffering of patients and families. Notwithstanding, it poses challenges concerning patients’ decision-making and autonomy, in regard to communicating bad news, resuscitation orders, and voluntary termination of life. This study seeks to discuss ethical issues underlying terminal care, showing how the problem of patients’ decision-making and autonomy can be addressed at the end of life. It distinguishes the notion of worthy death, which could ground ethical decisions for health attention across different developmental stages.

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