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The moral difference or equivalence between continuous sedation until death and physician-assisted death: word games or war games?: a qualitative content analysis of opinion pieces in the indexed medical and nursing literature

Sam Rys (UGent) , Reginald Deschepper (UGent) , Freddy Mortier (UGent) , Luc Deliens (UGent) , Douglas Atkinson and Johan Bilsen (UGent)
(2012) JOURNAL OF BIOETHICAL INQUIRY. 9(2). p.171-183
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Abstract
Continuous sedation until death (CSD), the act of reducing or removing the consciousness of an incurably ill patient until death, often provokes medical-ethical discussions in the opinion sections of medical and nursing journals. Some argue that CSD is morally equivalent to physician-assisted death (PAD), that it is a form of "slow euthanasia." A qualitative thematic content analysis of opinion pieces was conducted to describe and classify arguments that support or reject a moral difference between CSD and PAD. Arguments pro and contra a moral difference refer basically to the same ambiguous themes, namely intention, proportionality, withholding artificial nutrition and hydration, and removing consciousness. This demonstrates that the debate is first and foremost a semantic rather than a factual dispute, focusing on the normative framework of CSD. Given the prevalent ambiguity, the debate on CSD appears to be a classical symbolic struggle for moral authority.
Keywords
CARE, NETHERLANDS, LIFE, SLOW EUTHANASIA, PALLIATIVE SEDATION, TERMINAL SEDATION, IMMINENTLY DYING PATIENT, Terminal care, Palliative care, Deep sedation, Euthanasia

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MLA
Rys, Sam, Reginald Deschepper, Freddy Mortier, et al. “The Moral Difference or Equivalence Between Continuous Sedation Until Death and Physician-assisted Death: Word Games or War Games?: a Qualitative Content Analysis of Opinion Pieces in the Indexed Medical and Nursing Literature.” JOURNAL OF BIOETHICAL INQUIRY 9.2 (2012): 171–183. Print.
APA
Rys, S., Deschepper, R., Mortier, F., Deliens, L., Atkinson, D., & Bilsen, J. (2012). The moral difference or equivalence between continuous sedation until death and physician-assisted death: word games or war games?: a qualitative content analysis of opinion pieces in the indexed medical and nursing literature. JOURNAL OF BIOETHICAL INQUIRY, 9(2), 171–183.
Chicago author-date
Rys, Sam, Reginald Deschepper, Freddy Mortier, Luc Deliens, Douglas Atkinson, and Johan Bilsen. 2012. “The Moral Difference or Equivalence Between Continuous Sedation Until Death and Physician-assisted Death: Word Games or War Games?: a Qualitative Content Analysis of Opinion Pieces in the Indexed Medical and Nursing Literature.” Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 9 (2): 171–183.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Rys, Sam, Reginald Deschepper, Freddy Mortier, Luc Deliens, Douglas Atkinson, and Johan Bilsen. 2012. “The Moral Difference or Equivalence Between Continuous Sedation Until Death and Physician-assisted Death: Word Games or War Games?: a Qualitative Content Analysis of Opinion Pieces in the Indexed Medical and Nursing Literature.” Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 9 (2): 171–183.
Vancouver
1.
Rys S, Deschepper R, Mortier F, Deliens L, Atkinson D, Bilsen J. The moral difference or equivalence between continuous sedation until death and physician-assisted death: word games or war games?: a qualitative content analysis of opinion pieces in the indexed medical and nursing literature. JOURNAL OF BIOETHICAL INQUIRY. 2012;9(2):171–83.
IEEE
[1]
S. Rys, R. Deschepper, F. Mortier, L. Deliens, D. Atkinson, and J. Bilsen, “The moral difference or equivalence between continuous sedation until death and physician-assisted death: word games or war games?: a qualitative content analysis of opinion pieces in the indexed medical and nursing literature,” JOURNAL OF BIOETHICAL INQUIRY, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 171–183, 2012.
@article{5672960,
  abstract     = {{Continuous sedation until death (CSD), the act of reducing or removing the consciousness of an incurably ill patient until death, often provokes medical-ethical discussions in the opinion sections of medical and nursing journals. Some argue that CSD is morally equivalent to physician-assisted death (PAD), that it is a form of "slow euthanasia." A qualitative thematic content analysis of opinion pieces was conducted to describe and classify arguments that support or reject a moral difference between CSD and PAD. Arguments pro and contra a moral difference refer basically to the same ambiguous themes, namely intention, proportionality, withholding artificial nutrition and hydration, and removing consciousness. This demonstrates that the debate is first and foremost a semantic rather than a factual dispute, focusing on the normative framework of CSD. Given the prevalent ambiguity, the debate on CSD appears to be a classical symbolic struggle for moral authority.}},
  author       = {{Rys, Sam and Deschepper, Reginald and Mortier, Freddy and Deliens, Luc and Atkinson, Douglas and Bilsen, Johan}},
  issn         = {{1176-7529}},
  journal      = {{JOURNAL OF BIOETHICAL INQUIRY}},
  keywords     = {{CARE,NETHERLANDS,LIFE,SLOW EUTHANASIA,PALLIATIVE SEDATION,TERMINAL SEDATION,IMMINENTLY DYING PATIENT,Terminal care,Palliative care,Deep sedation,Euthanasia}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{2}},
  pages        = {{171--183}},
  title        = {{The moral difference or equivalence between continuous sedation until death and physician-assisted death: word games or war games?: a qualitative content analysis of opinion pieces in the indexed medical and nursing literature}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11673-012-9369-8}},
  volume       = {{9}},
  year         = {{2012}},
}

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