Mourir dans le contexte induit par la Loi concernant les soins de fin de vie : discussion dans une démarche de bioéthique interdisciplinaire et théologique

Authors: D'Astous, Mireille
Advisor: Labrecque, Cory Andrew
Abstract: Quebec’s Act Respecting End-of-Life Care has been in force since December 2015. The law opens up the possibility for patients to request aid in dying and access medical assistance in dying when the legal criteria of eligibility are met. The objective is to discuss the changes in end-of-life care induced by the Act. The magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church and the Assembly of Quebec Catholic Bishops have publicly stated their positions, although there have been dissenting voices in the Christian community. Tensions between magisterial positions and democratic normativities deserve reflection, in the context of a critique of clericalism, new ecclesial models and « respectful dissent ». The problematization by Jürgen Habermas of communicative action, tensions between facticity and validity, and the risks of dissensions in a complex society, provide useful theoretical axes for enriching the discussion. Neither the methodological orientations nor the theoretical framework are intended to lead to an argument directly related to the legitimacy of the medical practices of the Act. Discussion in interdisciplinary and theological bioethics can avoid a few pitfalls of polarization, by admitting multiple points of view and nuances. Both a historical, cultural and sociological reading makes medical assistance in dying appear as a social fact. A theoretical framework from Habermas’ Discourse Ethics will structure the discussion of practical issues: the uses of practical reason are differentiated into pragmatic, ethical and moral questions. When the posture of listening and engagement « on the ground » is favoured, even in theological bioethics, there is apossibility that medical assistance in dying could be considered as a latter resort or a lesser evil. A heuristic approach to practical reason allows us to explore benchmarks in bioethics and to deploy, in particular, free and informed consent in terms of pragmatic, ethical and moral uses of practical reason. Moral uncertainty shapes ethical reflection and is a mark of the human condition. The end of life is a singular experience for each person whose aim is the « good death ». Themes in interdisciplinary and theological bioethics are emerging: narrativity and support, the tragic death of Christ, « post-autonomy », relational autonomy, feminist approaches in bioethics, good communication practices, etc.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2021
Open Access Date: 15 February 2021
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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