Nine Terminal Conditions
Unfortunately, despite what many would like to believe, traditional medicine is not a miraculous cure-all for every condition. While many can achieve beneficial results by following a traditional healing program, even Tibetan Medicine acknowledges that some conditions are fundamentally incurable. These nine terminal conditions are studied by practitioners in order to understand situations in which favorable results cannot be guaranteed. Traditionally, curative methods would be replaced with palliative care, but with modern technology many conditions that would traditionally be considered fatal can be treated with surgeries, medical devices, or advanced pharmaceutical treatments.
In the future, we may very well harness the power of medical technology to avert death in even very serious circumstances. However, the following categories generally track the various circumstances in which, barring successful treatment options, death is inevitable.
As the Buddha identified, life itself is marked by the inevitability for death. We must all face our own mortality with fearlessness, having lived a life of meritorious activity, selflessness, and love.