Document Detail

The cultural context of patient's autonomy and doctor's duty: passive euthanasia and advance directives in Germany and Israel.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20680469     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The moral discourse surrounding end-of-life (EoL) decisions is highly complex, and a comparison of Germany and Israel can highlight the impact of cultural factors. The comparison shows interesting differences in how patient's autonomy and doctor's duties are morally and legally related to each other with respect to the withholding and withdrawing of medical treatment in EoL situations. Taking the statements of two national expert ethics committees on EoL in Israel and Germany (and their legal outcome) as an example of this discourse, we describe the similarity of their recommendations and then focus on the differences, including the balancing of ethical principles, what is identified as a problem, what social role professionals play, and the influence of history and religion. The comparison seems to show that Israel is more restrictive in relation to Germany, in contrast with previous bioethical studies in the context of the moral and legal discourse regarding the beginning of life, in which Germany was characterized as far more restrictive. We reflect on the ambivalence of the cultural reasons for this difference and its expression in various dissenting views on passive euthanasia and advance directives, and conclude with a comment on the difficulty in classifying either stance as more or less restrictive.
Silke Schicktanz; Aviad Raz; Carmel Shalev
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Medicine, health care, and philosophy     Volume:  13     ISSN:  1572-8633     ISO Abbreviation:  Med Health Care Philos     Publication Date:  2010 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-10-05     Completed Date:  2011-01-28     Revised Date:  2013-05-29    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9815900     Medline TA:  Med Health Care Philos     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  363-9     Citation Subset:  E; IM    
Department of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, University Medical Center Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Advance Directives / ethics*,  ethnology,  legislation & jurisprudence,  psychology
Cross-Cultural Comparison
Euthanasia, Passive / ethics*,  legislation & jurisprudence,  psychology
Moral Obligations
Palliative Care / ethics
Patient Rights / ethics*,  legislation & jurisprudence
Personal Autonomy*
Religion and Medicine
Value of Life

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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