[Bioethics of dying].
ABSTRACT The bioethical problems related to the dying person might be classified in four groups: 1) those of the society the person is involved in, 2) those of physicians and other health professionals, 3) those of the nursing staff in the broadest sense and 4) those connected with the dying person himself. The society must consider the death as a part and natural end of life. One of the most delicate problems related to patient-physician relationship is adequate information concerning the diagnosis and prognosis of the condition. A very complex problem is stopping or not introducing the treatment which cannot influence significantly the quality and length of life. Palliative therapy, although risky, should be introduced if suffering is great. The duty to alleviate suffering is more important than life prolongation. The nursing staff and family should honour the wishes of the dying. Active euthanasia legalization is too risky, especially for nonautonomous persons unable to express their will. In autonomous persons even the possibility of its realization could be the cause of extreme disturbances in patient/physician relationship. Active euthanasia, due to the involvement of public opinion, is already becoming a sociopolitical problem.