Year: 1994 Source: Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1994. p.19-33 SIEC No: 20021199

In this article, the author draws heavily on Philippe Aries’ account of the Western medieval sense of a good death in order to determine how Western society has experienced a change in its conception of a good death. He also explores how one’s concept of a good death has bearing on the words and deeds of care-givers, and the practical implications of these deeds, including 1) Maximal treatment and optimal care; 2) Starting and stopping the machines; 3) Rejecting the distinction between heroic and ordinary measures; and 4) Mercy killing vs. allowing to die. (3 refs)