August 8, 1990

Postponement of Death

Author Affiliations

Wayne State University Detroit, Mich

Wayne State University Detroit, Mich

JAMA. 1990;264(6):695. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450060041022

To the Editor.—  I read the article "Postponement of Death Until Symbolically Meaningful Occasions"1 with great interest. I was born and raised in China, and I personally witnessed the postponement of death by family members and the sick alike. Family members may seek the postponement for certain occasions, eg, festivals or to avoid the unlucky dates of the lunar calendar. In the lunar calendar, some dates are considered to be black, or unlucky. The sick prefer not to die on those days, believing that they will suffer a worse life after death.The other cause of postponement of death is that the dying person wants to see the fulfillment of a wish; he or she may long eagerly for a special beloved one to come home to say goodbye and take care of the burial ceremony. As soon as the beloved one arrives and utters some kind words, the sick