Transforming the Way We Die
Living in unprecedented times is not all bad. Quite the contrary: The historic challenges we face come with historic opportunities. As a society, we can collectively transform the way we die. But if we want to reclaim a sense of optimism about our future — and our children’s futures — we must act wisely, courageously, and decisively.
An authentic, consistent pro-life message could resolve cultural controversies surrounding how we die. Knowing that, in addition to alleviating symptoms and distress, we can honor and celebrate the people we love as they die opens up fresh approaches to difficult, unavoidable life-and-death decisions. The ethics of care must no longer be confined to considerations of when and under what circumstances life-prolonging treatments can be withheld or withdrawn. Ethics must elaborate when and under what circumstances we must act to enhance a person’s comfort, sense of dignity, and well-being through the end of life.