Physis: Revista de Saúde Coletiva
versão impressa ISSN 0103-7331
MENEZES, Rachel Aisengart. Technology and "Natural Death": dying in contemporary society. Physis [online]. 2003, vol.13, n.2, pp. 367-385. ISSN 0103-7331. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-73312003000200008.
The development of techniques to prolong life has brought significant changes in the conceptualization of death. This article analyzes contemporary representations of "natural death" and their relationship to the use of medical technologies. Based on a literature review, the article examines the concepts of "natural death" and "dying well" constructed by the various social actors involved in the process of dying. The literature reveals the contemporary construction of a necessary set of ideals and pathway for achieving the model of a "good death". The "dying well" model is constructed in opposition to techniques for prolonging life. The studies point to the complexity and ambivalence of what is presented as "natural" versus "unnatural" death, since such representations are intertwined with the concept of a "good death" as that which is "chosen and produced" by the patient. Thus, medical technology becomes intrinsically constitutive for a "natural death".
Palavras-chave : Death; medical technology; natural death; palliative care.