• Paulina Taboada R. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.


By starting with a reflection about the different meanings ascribed to the so-called "right to die with dignity", this work analyses the response given by Palliative Medicine to the end-of-life debate. After reviewing available statistics from Holland -first country in legalizing euthanasia- the author explains the solution that Palliative Medicine has proposed to the issue of "death with dignity". It is necessary to perceive the act of dying as a "human act" in order to understand that response adequately. In this context five moral principles are mentioned, viewed as relevant for safeguarding the ethical dimension of dying. They are: the principles of veracity, therapeutical proportionality, double-effect, prevention and not-abandon. The paper ends with an invitation to change the present medical paradigm, shifting from a medicine controlled by the logic of the "technological imperative" towards a "personalized medicine".


Death with dignity, Right to die with dignity, Death and the dying, Dying person, Dying person care, Terminally ill, End-of-life, Palliative Medicine, Therapeutic obstinacy, Euthanasia, Social attitudes towards death, Bioethics.

Author Biography

Paulina Taboada R., Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

Profesor Auxiliar, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Centro de Bioética y Depto. Medicina Interna, Facultad de Medicina.

Correspondencia: Dra. Paulina Taboada R., Centro de Bioética, P. Universidad Católica de Chile, Casilla 114-D, Correo Central 1, Santiago-Chile.