Remember friends, as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so you must be
Prepare yourself to follow me
-18th century epitaph
death and dying
- The Dying Patient’s Bill of Rights
Source: Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins
- I have the right to be treated as a living human being until I die.
- I have the right to maintain a sense of hopefulness however changing its focus may be.
- I have the right to be cared for by those who can maintain a sense of hopefulness, however changing this might be.
- I have the right to express my feelings and emotions about my approaching death in my own way.
- I have the right to participate in decisions concerning my care.
- I have the right to expect continuing medical and nursing attention even though “cure” goals must be changed to “comfort” goals.
- I have the right not to die alone. I have the right to be free from pain.
- I have the right to have my questions answered honestly.
- I have the right not to be deceived.
- I have the right to have help from and for my family in accepting my death.
- I have the right to die in peace and dignity.
- I have the right to retain my individuality and not be judged for my decisions which may be contrary to beliefs of others.
- I have the right to discuss and enlarge my religious and/or spiritual experiences, whatever these may mean to others.
- I have the right to expect that the sanctity of the human body will be respected after death.
- I have the right to be cared for by caring, sensitive, knowledgeable people who will attempt to understand my needs and will be able to gain some satisfaction in helping me face death.
- Please inform me of what you’re doing to my body so I better understand the process. Example of what to say: “I’m just going to tuck you in a bit now and adjust your pillow. There. Is that okay?”