Though abstract principles are deeply embedded in the sub-consciousness of every adult human, beliefs, values, and morals constitute a moral structure whose implementation oversees every activity in our daily lives. In medical practise, ethical dilemmas are associated with end-of-life procedures, care, and prognosis, which are defined in accordance with individual or collective beliefs and values. Dysthanasia, from Greek, means making death impossible, and it is an ethical dilemma with essential implications at the moment. Given that death itself has two moments, the death process and the time of death, dysthanasia is the excessive prolongation of the death process with the aid of technological devices that allow procedures to sustain life. Although it is through technical developments that the moment of death can be postponed, it is the ideals and values that are profoundly rooted in the physicians’ subconscious that are responsible for the mindset of ethical dilemmas at the end of life. Beliefs and values, when included in fields such as information phenomenology, technology dialectics, conflicts of values, existentialism and metaphysics, can somehow explain this present, evolving, and compelling question. Beliefs and beliefs are an individual’s abstract notions. Because of its wide acceptance, ideals and principles become the foundation of every area that frames cultures as they transcend the limits of self and are enfolded by society.
J.Filipe Monteiro Consultant Pneumologist (Retired), CHLN Pneumologia 1, Santa Maria University Hospital, Lisbon, Portugal.