Teologisk etik för livets slutskede. Om palliativ sedering

  • Kristin Zeiler


The article discusses theological arguments for and against palliative sedation, such as arguments based on the distinction between ordinary and extra-ordinary means and arguments based on the conceptions of “playing God” and human beings as created co-creators. It argues that palliative sedation can be theologically justified. Furthermore, the article examines two concepts of death: the heart-lung death concept and the whole-brain death concept. In the state New Jersey, USA, the New Jersey Death Definition Law gives ‘religious beliefs’ as a reason why individuals should be allowed to choose between being declared dead upon the basis of heart-lung death criteria or wholebrain death criteria. Religious and/or cultural understandings of death also play a role in the Japanese Transplantation Law. In some cases, what concept of death one adheres to will matter for the discussion of palliative sedation.