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The Hegh'bat was a traditional Klingon ritual suicide. According to law and ritual, when a Klingon could not stand and face his enemies as a warrior and he or she had become a burden to his family and friends, it was the time for Hegh'bat. The honor of helping the warrior would fall onto a family member, preferably the oldest son. That person's role was to hand the badly injured Klingon a knife so that he could plunge it into his heart. The dying warrior would then remove it and wipe the blood on his sleeve. (TNG: "Ethics")

According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia (3rd ed., p. 187), the literal translation of Hegh'bat was "The Time to Die".

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