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Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra

versión impresa ISSN 1137-6627


JUDEZ, J.. Assisted suicide and euthanasia: An old and tragic debate, with a guarded prognosis. Anales Sis San Navarra [online]. 2007, vol.30, suppl.3, pp.137-161. ISSN 1137-6627.

The basic effort in "regulation of help in dying" is a cultural one. The social and professional energies must above all be directed towards a renovated "organisation of care in dying" that, far from breaking off our relationships, strengthens them. That, besides providing dignity to dying, facilitates "living" it humanely inasmuch as possible, attending to the bio-psycho-socio-emotional (and spiritual) dimension. At the individual level the desire to die rather than to continue living is a drama that requires mobilising the moral effort of everyone, according to the corresponding responsibility for exploring and evaluating the situation in the search for alternative plans. And, at the social level, the fact of not providing an open outcome to those highly exceptional situations (between 01-2%) can be a tragedy. But the basic social effort does not lie at the end, in providing or not proving a way out, for a few patients (although the accumulated data for Oregon indicate that there is no slippery slope and in Holland there has been a change of attitude towards a fall in euthanasia facing the rise of the alternative of terminal sedation). The cultural, social, organisational, professional and individual effort from which we will all benefit comes much earlier, and involves changing our paradigm of care in particular at the end of life. Although death is inevitable, dying badly should not be so unavoidable.

Palabras clave : Medically assisted suicide; Euthanasia; End of life; Bioethics; Suffering.

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