The Rights of the Dying

The right to be treated as a living human being.

The right to maintain a sense of hopefulness, however changing its focus may be.

The right to be cared for by those who can maintain a sense of hopefulness, however changing this may be.

The right to express feelings and emotions about death in one’s own way.

The right to participate in all decisions concerning one’s care.

The right to be cared for by compassionate, sensitive, knowledgeable people who will attempt to understand one’s needs.

The right to expect continuing medical care, even though the goals may change from “cure” to “comfort” goals.

The right to have all questions answered honestly and fully.

The right to seek spirituality.

The right to be free of physical pain.

The right to express feelings and emotions about pain in one’s own way.

The right of children to participate in death.

The right to understand the process of death.

The right to die.

The right to die in peace and dignity.

The right not to die alone.

The right to expect that the sanctity of the body will be respected after death.

Reprinted with permission from
“The Needs of the Dying” by David Kessler
Harper Collins Publishers (1997)

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