The Dying: Health Care Needs and Attitudes Toward Death

  • Edward J. O’Boyle


The late Andre Hellegers pointed out how elastic the definition of health and, therefore, the definition of health needs has become over the years. The World Health Organization, stated Hellegers, defines health “as not only the absence of disease, but as the presence of a sense of total physical, mental and social well-being.” In the extreme this means, according to Hellegers, that the medical profession must abolish death. A second definition of health is based on the absence of discomfort and, Hellegers stated, logically requires the profession to provide death [Hellegers, p. 19]. A third definition of health views death as natural and urges physicians to accept it.


Common Good Social Utility Social Obligation Resource Allocation System Medicare Expenditure 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward J. O’Boyle
    • 1
  1. 1.Louisiana Tech UniversityUSA

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