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All Quotes by author - Sherwin B. Nuland
" At times, morality can be dismissed as a matter of personal conscience, no matter how widespread its acceptance. Ethics, on the other hand, arises from societal or group commitments to principia of behavior. "
" Being someone who had had a very difficult childhood, a very difficult adolescence - it had to do with not quite poverty, but close. It had to do with being brought up in a family where no one spoke English, no one could read or write English. It had to do with death and disease and lots of other things. I was a little prone to depression. "
" Both individual fulfillment and the ecological balance of life on this planet are best served by dying when our inherent biology decrees that we do. "
" By the time of my ninth birthday, I had become a bit of a socialist, as I am said by conservative colleagues to be to this day. I went on within the next few years to volunteer as an envelope stuffer for the American Labor Party, and my political thinking has not shifted measurably since that time. "
" Cancer cells are fixed at an age where they are still too young to have learned the rules of the society in which they live. As with so many immature individuals of all living kinds, everything they do is excessive and uncoordinated with the needs or constraints of their neighbors... they are reproductive but not productive. "
" Death belongs to the dying and those who love them. "
" 'Death with dignity' is our society's expression of the universal yearning to achieve a graceful triumph over the stark and often repugnant finality of life's last sputterings. But the fact is, death is not a confrontation. It is simply an event in the sequence of nature's ongoing rhythms. "
" Do you know what the world will be saved by? I'll tell you. It'll be saved by the human spirit. And by the human spirit, I don't mean anything divine, I don't mean anything supernatural - certainly not coming from this skeptic. "
" Even putting aside the Judeo-Christian morality upon which the Constitution and our nation's culture are based, the notion of forced euthanasia would contradict the long-held body of medical ethics to which all American doctors must adhere. "
" Every hope of successive generations of scholars that order might be constructed from the chaotic mess of medical nomenclature has been frustrated. Even diseases recognized in the same historical period have been given names based on characteristics that have no relation to one another, and thus no common criteria. "
" If there's one operation for a disease, you know it works. If there are 15 operations, you know that none of them work. "
" I have been following the attempt to initiate or revamp federal involvement in the health of Americans since it was a major topic for my high school debating team in 1947. "
" I have not seen much dignity in the process by which we die. The quest to achieve true dignity fails when our bodies fail. "
" I never had a conscious fear of death, but I did have a conscious fear of sickness. By the time I completed medical school, that fear was gone. "
" I think when you think of death as being part of the life cycle and recognize that death is an inevitability for our species because the world has to be renewed with each death, then the hope becomes when it is renewed it will be renewed by people on whom I have had some influence for good. "
" It's unnatural to believe death usually has a beauty and a concordance and is usually a coming together of your life's work. It leads to frustration for the patient. And it leaves grieving families convinced they did something wrong. "
" I've seen so many patients, particularly elderly patients, over the years who become debilitated and changed by the process by which I cure them or another doctor cures them. And has it really been worth it? "
" I was, in the 1960s, in a marriage. To use the word 'bad' would be perhaps the understatement of the year. It was dreadful. "
" Long regarded as central to the contemporary understanding of medical ethics are four principles that must be satisfied in order to fulfill the requirements of moral decision-making. These principles are autonomy, justice, beneficence, and non-maleficence. "
" Medical judgment can be taught - laboriously, in long periods of training - but it cannot be neatly handed over as the occasion demands it. It is the irreplaceable and untransferable contribution that the healer makes to the suffering individual who would be healed. "
" Nosology (from the Greek 'nosos,' meaning 'disease,' and 'logos,' referring to 'study') is not a sport for the timid, and certainly not for those so scrupulous about rules and order that they demand consistency in all things. "
" Not death but disease is the real enemy; disease, the malign force that requires confrontation. Death is the surcease that comes when the exhausting battle has been lost. "
" Of all the named structures within the abdomen and the chest, those associated with reproduction retained the mysteries of their willful behavior long after others had been solved to the satisfaction of physicians and philosophers. "
" Once the notion of depression had begun to dominate the diagnostic armamentarium, it became but a matter of time before patients with relatively mild disorders of mood or anxiety would be entered into it. "
" Only by a frank discussion of the very details of dying can we best deal with those aspects that frighten us the most. It is by knowing the truth... that we rid ourselves of that fear of the terra incognita of death. "
" Only the emerging specialty of psychoanalysis seemed to understand that mental maladies are not fully analogous to physical disease. They resist classification, and might better be known by their symptoms and the individualized sufferings of patients than by assigned names. "
" Our deaths become a part of our lives in the sense that with our deaths we give something to those who are left behind, as we have given our lives to them. "
" The dignity we seek in dying must be found in the dignity with which we have lived our lives. "
" The final disease that nature inflicts on us will determine the atmosphere in which we take our leave of life, but our own choices should be allowed, insofar as possible, to be the decisive factor in the manner of our going. "
" The good thing that may yet happen during dying is not the possibility of survival when we're beyond that point. The good thing that may yet happen is that our lives will have great meaning for those we leave behind. "
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