This is the kind of a question I've been struggling with a lot, because I find myself going in different directions. I bring this up in this particular forum because it seems like the "D" word has had a profound impact from civil rights to ethics in medical care. So what exactly is it? Or to make things easier, what exactly is it in the context of health care? And trust me, I've already looked it up in Webster's. It hasn't made it any easier for me to understand it and why it has such a huge effect on how people do things in medicine.