Bioethical Acceptability of Euthanasia in the Greek Orthodox Religious Context
The paper analyzes the instances of social construction of the acceptability of euthanasia in the Greek Orthodox Christian religious context. 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. Data analysis was performed using the Grounded Theory method. The emotional factor and discursive contingency of the reference group significantly contributes to nuancing religious beliefs. The bioethical discourse on euthanasia should be overtoned 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.
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