The value of death

Richard Smith

The title of our Commission seems strange to some who find it odd to think of death having a value. The title was chosen because the Lancet also has a Commission on the Value of Life, and life and death are clearly related. “Death is a mirror in which the entire meaning of life is reflected” said Sogyal Rinpoche, the Tibetan lama. Few doubt the value of life, although Sophocles argued that “Not to be born at all is best,” and 800 000 people a year chose death over life and kill themselves.

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The emerging story of the Lancet Commission on the Value of Death

The story of the Lancet Commission on the Value of Death

Our story in a sentence: Both society and medicine have an unhealthy relationship with death, which is primarily a social not a medical event, and our Commission is searching for ways to create a healthier relationship.

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