Death and Dying

Advance directives is defined as declarations by patients, made in advance of a situation in which they may be incompetent to decide about their own care, stating their treatment preferences or authorizing a third party to make decisions for them.

Bereavement refers to the whole process of grieving and mourning and is associated with a deep sense of loss and sadness.

Death is the irreversible cessation of all bodily functions, manifested by absence of spontaneous breathing and total loss of cardiovascular and cerebral functions.

Euthanasia is defined as the act or practice of killing or allowing death from natural causes, for reasons of mercy, i.e., in order to release a person from incurable disease, intolerable suffering, or undignified death. (from Beauchamp and Walters, Contemporary Issues in Bioethics, 5th ed)

Living will is defined as written, witnessed declarations in which persons request that if they become disabled beyond reasonable expectation of recovery, they be allowed to die rather than be kept alive by extraordinary means.

Right to die is defined as the right of the patient or the patient's representative to make decisions with regard to the patient's dying.

Tissue and organ procurement is defined as the administrative procedures involved with acquiring tissues or organs for transplantation through various programs, systems, or organizations. These procedures include obtaining consent from tissue donors and arranging for transportation of donated tissues and organs, after tissue harvesting, to hospitals for processing and transplantation.

These bold-face terms may be used for subject searching in CWRU's Library Catalog (and as a MeSH: Medical Subject Heading Search) or in PubMed.

If you need more information, please contact Reference at the Allen Library at 216.368.3640 or at the Health Center Library at 216.368.3218, or send us an email at hclref@case.edu.

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