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July 2004

Dying Young: Cues From the Courts

Author Affiliations

From the School of Medicine and Center for Bioethics and Health Law, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004;158(7):615-619. doi:10.1001/archpedi.158.7.615

In an age where longevity is coveted and celebrated, dying young seems antithetical to the extraordinary biomedical achievements that extend and enhance life. Yet, many adolescents die in hospitals from disease and accident. Despite extensive law and literature addressing end-of-life issues for adults, little information exists about particular concerns and challenges confronting dying adolescents. This information is important not only for improving quality of care but, to some extent, for providing a mirror that reflects the way we ought to treat any dying patient.