Death with Dignity
Author: Woll-Schumacher, Irene
Source: Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, Volume 6, Number 3, September 1981 , pp. 205-213(9)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:Although death with dignity has become a much discussed topic in recent years, sociologist have said nothing about it. The problem may be beyond their scope as dignity – in its generally accepted meaning – presupposes an identity, intrinsic to the individual, and not dependent on the institutions of society. However, because of man's social nature a stable identity cannot be gained or retained outside the framework of social relationships and the fact that the individual is enmeshed in them. The problem of dignified death doe not arise when the death process is shaped – as it used to be – by social norms, meanings and roles, and was institutionalized in a form familiar to all participants. One may therefore suppose that the problem of death with dignity in modern society can be solved again when dying and death receive their own social quality – a quality which is indispensable for the realization of human dignity.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1981