Some Ways that Technology and Terminology Distort the Euthanasia Issue

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal / Book Title

Journal of Medical Humanities


Technology and terminology often detract from a reasoned appraisal of the euthanasia option, especially in those discussions that argue for euthanasia's incorporation into a beneficence-based medical model. "Beneficent euthanasia," assuming there is such a thing, poses special challenges to the traditional provider-patient relationship. These challenges argue for well-defined limits of beneficence and a more equitable distribution of responsibility between participants. We should not allow technology and terminology to generate an unrealistic portrayal of patient death and its ramifications. Participants need to acknowledge their roles in the decision to kill and the obligations that those roles entail. Perhaps we can reach ethical consensus concerning euthanasia by first reasserting our span of control over the technology that can extend the near-death period and by openly discussing euthanasia's implications.



Published Citation

Herrera, C. (1993). Some ways that technology and terminology distort the euthanasia issue. Journal of Medical Humanities, 14(1), 23-31.