On Aiding the Dying

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No less significant than preparing for our own death is helping others to die well. As a newborn baby each of us was helpless and, without the care and kindness we received then, we would not have survived. Because the dying also are unable to help themselves, we should relieve them of discomfort and anxiety, and assist them, as far as we can, to die with composure.

Here the most important point is to avoid anything which will cause the dying person’s mind to become more disturbed than it may already be. Our prime aim in helping a dying person is to put them at ease, and there are many ways of doing this. A dying person who is familiar with spiritual practice may be encouraged and inspired if they are reminded of it, but even kindly reassurance on our part can engender a peaceful, relaxed attitude in the dying person’s mind.

-The Dalai Lama, from “Foreward by His Holiness the Dalai Lama”, “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying”, by Sogyal Rinpoche

4 thoughts on “On Aiding the Dying

  1. I think assisted suicide is mostly illegal and I don’t know why. Some say it is Gods’ choice to take us when He wants us but he really isn’t suffering the illness. Sometimes, offering comfort is not what is needed. I’m not sure what I would do if I had an elderly parent or grandparent who asked me to help them die. I was asked by a man who was dying if I could get him some morphine and help him overdose. I of course, said no.

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