Toward a Good Death: A Socio-legal, Ethical, and Medical Challenge

  • George P. SmithII


This chapter recapitulates the positive steps being taken incrementally to promote and ensure that either an ethic or a right to a compassionate death is evolving. The salutary effect of the Uniform Health Care Act in establishing parameters for determining medical futility—taken together with the efforts of the Academy of Palliative Medicine to structure standards for regulating nutrition and hydration in palliative management—and the guidance of the American Medical Association in establishing when it is clinically and ethically proper to sedate to unconsciousness, are powerful paradigms evidencing a new movement toward shaping contemporary standards of normative conduct for end-of-life decision making. Of necessity, these standards are grounded in notions of compassion, dignity, beneficence and common sense.


Palliative Care Supra Note Palliative Medicine Good Death Terminal Sedation 
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© George P. Smith 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • George P. SmithII
    • 1
  1. 1.The Catholic University of AmericaUSA

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