HealthcarePapers 14(1) April 2014 : 32-37.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2014.23968

Why Am I Here?

Ross E.G. Upshur


In this essay I reflect on the meaning of death in life. Drawing on experiences as a practicing family physician providing care for dying patients and being witness to the deaths of family members, I argue for greater efforts to explicitly and openly support frank discussions about death and dying. I endorse the recommendations of the Royal Society of Canada expert panel, and point out remaining challenges that must be met regardless of whether there is a change in the legal structures regarding the permissibility of aid in dying. I conclude by arguing that understanding death in our lives helps shape its meaning and human significance. 



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