O direito à morte digna : uma análise ética e legal da ortotanásia à luz do Novo Código Brasileiro de Ética Médica / The righ to a dignified death: an ethical and legal analysis of orthothanasia in light of the new Brazilian Code of Medical Ethics


IBICT - Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnologia




The evolution of medical science and its association with technological and commercial parameters have consolidated the cure paradigm in medical practice to such an extent that the medical establishment now exercises an overwhelming paternalism over the dying process, maximally postponing suffering and violating the dignity of the patient. On the other hand, orthothanasia represents a humane alternative to the medicalization of death by preserving the dignity of the patient throughout the dying process. Based on palliative care and the autonomy of the patient, orthothanasia offers terminal patients holistic care without therapeutic obstinacy. In view of these considerations, one general and two specific objectives were outlined for the present thesis: The general objective was to analyze the practice of orthothanasia in light of the new Brazilian Code of Medical Ethics. The specific objectives were to recognize dignified death as a basic right and to demonstrate the legality of orthothanasia within the Brazilian legal system. The methodology consisted of a multidisciplinary review of the literature related to the topic and of national and international legal documents. In accordance with Brazilian legal doctrine and jurisprudence, orthothanasia safeguards the right to a dignified death by allowing terminal patients selfdetermination and preserving their dignity. The new Brazilian Code of Medical Ethics sets forth the assumptions of orthothanasia in the sole paragraph of Article 141 (on the relation between the physician and the patient and the patient s family). With regard to legality, orthothanasia is embedded in the Federal Constitution as an expression of the principle of human dignity and protection of terminal patients basic right to health. It is likewise legal in accordance with Criminal Law as no causal link exists between the physicians conduct and the patient s death from terminal disease. For the physician, the practice of orthothanasia constitutes recognition of the existential dimension of life, legal and ethical duty to abstain from medical intervention in the case of unavoidable death and, above all, respect for the dignity and decision-making ability of the patient in control of his or her own life. Key words: Orthothanasia. Code of Medical Ethics. Terminal disease. Human dignity. Death.


direitos humanos - dissertaÇÕes cÓdigo de Ética mÉdica - dissertaÇÕes direito constitucional

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