Aktiv dødshjælp - i et individperspektiv

Josephine Grønlund Sandal, Sophie Hvid Tolstrup, Martin Vang Rasmussen & Leon Kongsted

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This project attempts to reinstate the individual in the legalization debate of euthanasia. In this re-gard, a number of articulated terms are clarified and related to the dying experience and -process of the individual. Terms such as death anxiety, autonomy and a dignified death are emphasized. We have chosen a theoretical base in Kübler-Ross’ five phases of death, Yalom’s existential awak-ening, Saunders concept of total pain, the late modern society’s displacement of death as well as the multilateral understanding of autonomy. Our empirical material, consisting of interviews and international studies concerning euthanasia opinions are tested against our theories. Our informants consist of caregivers and residents at two Danish hospices, together with advocates of euthanasia in Denmark and Europe, Flemming Schollaart and Dr. Aycke Smook. Death anxiety seems to occur as a consequence, when an individual feels deprived of its autonomy, at the time of a terminal diagnosis. Therefore the patient’s personal autonomy is significant in rela-tion to the death anxiety, and may contribute in minimizing the same. The personal autonomy is greatly affected by the relationships belonging to the patient, but in the end it's only the patient who is able to make the decision about his life and death. In order to increase the patient’s quality of life, the autonomy should be reinstated, together with the knowledge of a possible opportunity to end life, in case of this becoming a deliberate desire. In this way, the terminal patient has a possibility of a greater experience of a dignified death. Svend Lings argues that this statement is enough for an introduction of euthanasia in Denmark, while the Danish Council of Ethics are more skeptical and believe that euthanasia will lead to a slippery slope, to which Danish patients may be victims. In the Netherlands, where euthanasia has been allowed since 2001, studies in comparison shows no signs of slippery slopes since the legalization. In conclusion we believe that euthanasia should be offered terminal ill and suffering patients, as it is seen that the knowledge of a possibility alone, seems to relieve the pain of the patient, thereby providing them a higher quality of life in their remaining time.

UddannelserSundhedsfremme og Sundhedsstrategier, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato23 jan. 2015
VejledereBjarne Jacobsen


  • Individet
  • Aktiv dødshjælp