Death With Dignity and Euthanasia: Comparative European Approaches
Journal International de Bioéthique = International Journal of Bioethics 2007 September; 18(3): 85-102
From 1800 to 1960, the average life expectancy doubled making medical activities a fight against death. In doing so, the dying process became medicalized. Some infectious diseases clearly disappeared while new surgical interventions, such as organ transplants, may be viewed as some kinds of human resuscitation. Sociologically, medicine has replaced religion and doctors are the new priests of our techno society. Paradoxically this has created a new fear The artificial process of dying is replacing death but it is transforming the individuals into artificially supported and suffering bodies relying on medical supervision while the family is left away, making social solidarity and compassion a relic of the past. There comes the wish to re appropriate our own death, to give a true meaning to the dying process by making it peaceful and respectful of our human dignity. This evolution takes place in a very controversial context because it is founded on various and contradictory attitudes. A rights based approach will support both the termination of futile treatment and active euthanasia while a duty-based approach will allow the physicians to accept responding positively to death claims that follow some predetermined criteria and refused others.
Active Euthanasia; Attitudes; Compassion; Death; Doctors; Euthanasia; Evolution; Human Dignity; Life; Medicine; Physicians; Religion; Resuscitation; Rights; Suffering; Suicide / Assisted Suicide; Care of the Dying Patient; Prolongation of Life and Euthanasia; Third Party Consent; Right to Refuse Treatment;
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