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It's About People 2022: Embracing Digital Transformation: For a Sustainable and Ethical Future

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The Right To Say Goodbye »on Distance« and Human Dignity

Alenka Križnik
Slovensko društvo Hospic

Ensuring the right to say goodbye to the deceased has an important impact on the grieving process of relatives. Allowing for "remote" goodbyes and contact with loved ones raises questions about the ethics of the absolute digital replacement of direct human contact with loved ones as a constitutionally protected category. Whichever legal-philosophical line we take, man remains for once undeniably a creature of nature and as such a part of it, which consequently requires the preservation of basic natural needs, including touch and proximity without interfaces. For the purpose of this paper we will use descriptive research method, with a compilation method and semi-structured interview in the empirical part. We will show good practices in enabling the right to direct goodbye and the possibility of indirect forms of goodbye (digital forms of keeping in touch), as well as in addressing the negative consequences of disabled goodbyes. When saying goodbye to a dying person, it is necessary to advocate an individual approach and respect for the basic humanity that must or can be provided in a given situation. Experience to date has shown that organisations have used different ways of ensuring visits and also of facilitating farewells. In cases where the goodbye is not possible, the grieving process is complicated. However, relatives who have been able to say goodbye remotely still ask themselves questions about the circumstances under which their loved ones died, as these contacts were usually brief and very difficult due to their health.



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