15th edition of the World Congress of Bioethics: IAB 2020- Copyright © 2020
FORMAT | Presented paper
LANGUAGE | English
HOW TO CITE| SANDU, Antonio, Frunza, A., & Huidu, A. (2020). Bioethical acceptability of euthanasia in the Greek Orthodox religious context. Paper presented at the 15th edition of the World Congress of Bioethics: IAB 2020, June 19-21. USA, Philadelphia. https://iab2020.org/
Background: Religious affiliation influences decisions about the ethical acceptance of euthanasia. The Greek Orthodox Christian Church expressly opposes the approval of euthanasia; therefore, believers strongly oppose this practice.
Objectives: The paper analyzes the instances of social construction of the acceptability of euthanasia in the Greek Orthodox Christian religious context.
Methods: A series of three focus groups and ten individual interviews were undertaken with people belonging to the Greek Orthodox Christian religion in north-eastern Romania. The interviews addressed how people make their decisions about the ethical acceptability of euthanasia and how religious beliefs inspired by Orthodox Christianity are reflected in the decision-making process regarding the acceptability or unacceptability of an extreme medical practice, including interrupting the course of life at the patient’s request. The focus group later watched an artistic film with a strong emotional impact, which presented the opinion of a person with an unbearable medical condition who decided to resort to euthanasia. The reaction of the participants was observed and the elements of acceptability or unacceptability of euthanasia, as well as the ethical-religious substrate of the decision, were questioned again. Data analysis was performed using the Grounded Theory method.
Findings: The emotional factor and discursive contingency of the reference group significantly contributes to nuancing religious beliefs.
Conclusion: The bioethical discourse on euthanasia should be nuanced to take into account not only religious beliefs, but also the emotional context in which the acceptability of an extreme medical practice is socially constructed.
Bioethical Acceptability of Euthanasia, Greek Orthodox Religious Context, social construction of the acceptability of euthanasia.