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Interface - Comunicação, Saúde, Educação

Print version ISSN 1414-3283


ALONSO, Juan Pedro. Negotiated outlines of "good death": end-of-life medical decision-making. Interface (Botucatu) [online]. 2012, vol.16, n.40, pp.191-204.  Epub Mar 20, 2012. ISSN 1414-3283.

This paper examines medical decision-making at the end of life, analyzing lay and professional notions of a "good death". Based on an ethnographic approach in a palliative care unit in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, this paper empirically addresses the way in which the meanings surrounding these notions are negotiated in practical and situational contexts. Analysis on specific cases of decision-making at the end of life shows the problematic nature of defining these notions in medical settings. The meanings and definition of a "good death" are subject to interpretations by the players involved. The paper also identifies the tensions between projects for "humanization" of care at the end of life and the medicalization of death and dying.

Keywords : Death; End of life; Palliative care; Decision-making.

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