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Arch Hellen Med, 33(Supplement 1), 2016, 61-63


A ghost haunting the western society: a posteriori (5–4–2016) epilogue

Ι.D.K. Dimoliatis
Unit of Quality of Life and Death, Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece

When should we die? (WSWD). Our round table discussed it for the first time openly. The journey of hope (that never dies) put it. The "arrogance or acceptance" sets the prerequisite in order to answer the dilemma (when things cannot go as I want, I should want as they go; i.e., when my time will come, which I peacefully and calmly wait, to have a good death). The Gospels do not respond to WSWD: at that era life expectancy was only 35 years, people had no such problem to solve, neither they could even imagine that it could ever exist. Philosophers oppose responses (when one's time has come; when one doesn't want to live anymore; when one's life is not worth living; when the body cannot sustain life anymore) which it is time to compose (philosophy is the study of death! - Plato). The people (the society), if they have experienced the dilemma, are already ahead (when not self-handling then there is no future, then the right time for a mature good death has come, not premature nor postmature – say goodbye to Alexandria that is leaving, said Cavafy). The legal system, captive of fear rather than anchored in science, distorts the practice of medicine from evidence-based towards defensive. The social oscillation between euthanasia and dysthanasia through the centuries needs recourse to the theory of oscillations in order to rediscover the edge of the cut yarn for painless, unashamed, peaceful (and not torturous) end of our material Ego. If everyone will decide on the "when" of their own death (when should I die; WSID), the problem would be automatically solved; especially doctors, who should suffer less than others from the bias "I don't know that I don't know" of what are we talking about. Notifying their decision by means of a written will would help relatives, doctors and himself for a painless, unashamed and peaceful end of their life.

Key words: Gospels and death, Philosophy and death, Law and death, History and death, Society and death, I and my death, Self-handling, Living wills, Euthanasia, Premature/mature/postmature death, When should I die (WSID), When should we die (WSWD).

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