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Dying, Aid for the

(1,632 words)

Author(s): Eibach, Ulrich
1. Concept The phrase “aid for the dying” variously conveys (1) simply being there for them, (2) care and medical measures to make dying easier, and (3) refraining from medical measures to keep the dying alive. From all these forms of passive aid we must theoretically distinguish active aid in the form of hastening death (i.e., so-called assisted suicide; see 3 below), which ethically and legally counts as homicide, whether on request or not. The meaning of the phrase “aid for the dying” overlaps with that of “euthanasia” but pertains only to the d…

Old Age

(1,684 words)

Author(s): Greschat, Hans-Jürgen | Eibach, Ulrich | Failing, Wolf-Eckart
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Ethics – III. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies Secular society distinguishes different periods in a person’s personal and professional life; religions do much the same. Awareness of people’s age gives a sense of their capabilities and standing. Childhood and adulthood are lengthy periods in a person’s life. Two transitional stages (Rites of passage) are usually much shorter: they serve to prepare young people for adulthood and the elderly for their death. Rituals signal the transition to …