[Euthanasia, dysthanasia and orthothanasia: an integrative review of the literature]

Cien Saude Colet. 2013 Sep;18(9):2733-46. doi: 10.1590/s1413-81232013000900029.
[Article in Portuguese]


There is currently widespread concern among researchers in debating questions that generate ethical conflicts within the scope of health care geared to the human being in the terminal phase, especially euthanasia, dysthanasia and orthothanasia. This study sought to characterize the scientific production at the national level on euthanasia, dysthanasia and orthothanasia. It involves an integrative review of the literature. The study universe consisted of 41 publications related to the theme in question by means of a survey conducted online in the Virtual Health Library in the Capes Portal and in the Bioethical Magazine. Of these, 25 articles comprised the sample taking into consideration the established inclusion and exclusion criteria. Data collection occurred in March 2013, by means of an instrument containing information pertinent to the proposed objective. The key words used were euthanasia, dysthanasia and orthothanasia. With respect to the focus of the publications, three themes emerged: Theme I - Euthanasia; Theme II - Dysthanasia and Theme III - Orthothanasia. The studies analyzed reflected the current concern in terms of ethical dilemmas concerning care of the human being in the end of life phase. Thus, it is hoped that this research can contribute to bolster the critical reading with respect to the theme.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bibliometrics
  • Euthanasia* / ethics
  • Humans
  • Withholding Treatment* / ethics