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Eutanásia, orthotanásia or distanceásia: what is sãsia and differenceças

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Eutanásia, orthotanásia or distanceásia: what is sãsia and differenceças
Eutanásia, orthotanásia or distanceásia: what is sãsia and differenceças

Dysthanasia, euthanasia and orthothanasia are terms that indicate medical practices related to the death of the patient. In general, euthanasia can be defined as the act of "anticipating death", dysthanasia as a "slow death, with suffering", while orthothanasia represents "natural death, without anticipation or prolongation".

These medical practices are widely discussed in the context of bioethics, which is the area that investigates the necessary conditions for a responsible management of human, animal and environmental life, as opinions may vary in relation to whether or not to support these practices.


The following are the main differences between dysthanasia, euthanasia and orthothanasia:

1. Dysthanasia

Dysthanasia is a medical term used to describe a medical approach related to the death of the patient and that corresponds to the unnecessary prolongation of life through the use of drugs that can bring suffering to the person.

In this way, as it promotes the prolongation of pain and suffering, dysthanasia is considered a bad medical practice, because, although it relieves symptoms, it does not improve the person's quality of life, making death slower and painful.

2. Euthanasia

Euthanasia is the act of shortening a person's life, that is, its principle is to end the suffering of the person who has a serious and incurable disease, when there are no more treatments that can be performed to improve the clinical picture of the person.

However, euthanasia is illegal in most countries as it involves human life. Professionals against this practice claim that human life is inviolable, and no one has the right to shorten it, and, in addition, it is very difficult to define which people can still have their suffering alleviated without having to anticipate their death.

There are different types of euthanasia, which better define the way in which this anticipation of death will be done, and include:

  • Voluntary active euthanasia: it is done by administering medication or performing some procedure with the aim of leading the patient to death, after his/her consent;
  • Assisted suicide: is the act performed when the doctor provides medication so that the patient himself can shorten his life;
  • Active involuntary euthanasia: it is the administration of medication or performance of procedures to bring the patient to death, in a situation in which the patient has not previously consented. This practice is illegal in all countries.

It is important to remember that there is a different form of euthanasia called passive euthanasia, characterized by the suspension or termination of medical treatments that maintain the patient's life, without offering any medication for its abbreviation. This term is not widely used, as it is considered that, in this case, the person's death is not caused, but allows the patient to die naturally, and may be included in the practice of orthothanasia.

3. Orthothanasia

Orthothanasia is a medical practice in which a natural death is promoted, without using unhelpful, invasive or artificial treatments to keep the person alive and prolong death, such as breathing apparatus, for example.

Orthothanasia is practiced through palliative care, which is an approach that seeks to maintain the quality of life of the patient and his family, in cases of serious and incurable diseases, helping to control physical and psychological symptoms and social. Understand what palliative care is and when they are indicated.

Thus, in orthothanasia, death is seen as something natural that every human being will go through, seeking the objective that is not to abbreviate or postpone death, but to seek the best way to go through it, maintaining the dignity of the person who is sick.

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