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Dying in the Twenty-First CenturyToward a New Ethical Framework for the Art of Dying Well$
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Lydia M.D. Dugdale

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029124

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029124.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Ritual and Practice

Ritual and Practice

(p.67) 5 Ritual and Practice
Dying in the Twenty-First Century

M. Therese Lysaught

The MIT Press

M. Therese Lysaught argues that, whereas rituals and practices had played important roles in the art of dying from the Middle Ages until the early twentieth century, today they are ambiguous concepts on unsteady footing within secular biomedicine. Society has lost the rituals and practices that helped to guide patients and their communities through the dying process. Lysaught turns hesitantly toward bioethics for a solution. She draws on earlier work by the bioethicist Daniel Callahan, whose vision for a new art of dying turns on a person’s character. Lysaught shows how “the formal, procedural logic embraced so passionately” by present-day bioethics cannot offer a robust solution without undergoing substantial changes to its own framework. All is not lost, however, and Lysaught leaves the reader with some practical steps for working toward an art of dying.

Keywords:   Ritual, Practices, Community, Character, Dying process, Virtue ethics

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