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October 1969

Rights of the Dying Patient

Author Affiliations

Pack Medical Group 139 E 36 St New York 10016

Arch Otolaryngol. 1969;90(4):405. doi:10.1001/archotol.1969.00770030407001

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THERE is an unquestioned and dynamic right of everyone to live, yet there is a minimum of discussion and understanding of a person's right to die. It would appear reasonable that the right to live would be equated with the right to die, but this is not the fact because the meaning of death has become a conglomerate of personal emotion, religious ideals, domestic circumstances, social mores, medical ethics, and legal statutes. To the dying person, death may mean fear or panic or relief from pain and then eternal peace. To the most religious groups, death means transformation of the mortal remains into a spiritual phenomenon associated with life after death. To the family group, death is the loss of a loved one and his or her role in the domestic situation. To society, death is a relative and temporary hurt. To the doctor, death may be the relief from

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