When religion is involved, it can be an even harder event to withstand. A court in London on Saturday, August 27, 2005 upheld the right of the National Health Service to withdraw life support systems from a critically ill 86-year-old man who is considered by doctors to have no chance of getting better.
His Muslim family appealed to the court to block the decision on the grounds that their religious beliefs required doctors to do everything in their power to keep their father alive. Only God had the power to bestow death, they said.
But Mr Justice Kirkwood said the family's evidence and beliefs were outweighed by an overwhelming consensus of doctors who had looked at the man's medical condition.
One of the man's sons had told the judge earlier in the hearing that according to the Islamic faith it was imperative for doctors to protect life.
"If the available medicine can protect life then it must. Death is in the hands of God. Any withdrawal of life support would be tantamount to murder," he said.
"It is in his best interests that he be allowed a peaceful and dignified death. "Everything should be done to support him in that, including hydration and nutrition, but it's not in his best interests that he should continue to be subjected to painful and undignified medical processes which do nothing to improve his terminal condition."
When there is no chance of recovery... you must learn to let go and let the person die with dognity.