Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 21, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963855 | Print ISBN: 9781412941860 | Online ISBN: 9781412963855| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Death and Dying
Thiago Monaco M.D., Ph.D.
Death has always fascinated humankind. The interest on death and in the process of dying is more ancient than civilization itself. In fact, archaeological findings of burial sites and evidences of ritual funerals attest to this interest. Its inexorability and the unknown associated with it have long been focus of conjectures. The process of dying has always been a source of fear, not only due to its ultimate result, but also because of the suffering usually associated with it. While many fields of knowledge have been dedicated to the study of death throughout human history, the recent progresses of science and medicine have brought into discussion many issues regarding death and dying, such as palliative care and euthanasia or one's right to dignity during the process of dying. The important aging of the world's population, in action in the last decades, has put death and dying into the forefront of ...