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Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra

versión impresa ISSN 1137-6627


MASIA, J.. Human dignity and terminal situations. Anales Sis San Navarra [online]. 2007, vol.30, suppl.3, pp.39-55. ISSN 1137-6627.

Dignity should not be confused with the unbecoming conditions that a person can find himself in due to external situations or disease. The person/patient in a terminal situation has human dignity, which must be respected not because he/she is a terminal patient but simply because he/she is a person. But it is true that in terminal situations dignity can be particularly threatened. Nonetheless, one must not deduce from the criterion of respecting dignity the conclusion of prolonging biological life at all costs, but instead that of guaranteeing the best quality of living during the process of dying and of worthily accompanying the person who is approaching death by helping him to accept this.

Palabras clave : Dignity; Terminal state; Prior instructions; Palliative care; Limitation of therapeutic effort.

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