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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

versão impressa ISSN 0034-7450


ROVALETTI, María Lucrecia. La Ambiguedad de la Muerte: Reflexiones en torno a la Muerte Contemporánea. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2002, vol.31, n.2, pp.137-154. ISSN 0034-7450.

While in traditional societies death could be intergrated with life by means of symbols, rites and myths, in contemporary secularized societies this capacity has been lost. Death is now a phenomenon that is put at a distance, by trivializing it at daily level or by considering it, at a medical level, as an accident that must be fought against by current bio-technology. More than death per se what matters is the suffering and defenselessness that a long and incurable disease usually generates. Paradoxically the medical advances and better health and education policies that have made preservation and prolongation of human life possible, have also made it possible that the fate of many be to end in years of infirmity, dependency and unhappiness due to chronic and dementing illnesses as the population grows older. The ambiguity that the problem of death offers us holds a close relationship with changes in the medical and judiciary fields; it's a global change that includes always medical mediation. If we can speak today of " medicalization of society" and at the same time of a " judicalization of medicine", we can also speak of a " medicalization " and a " judicalization of death". Then can themes appear like "hospitalized death", that is, a technicalization of dying. Recent technological advances introduce us into new scenarios that were impossible before, like problems associated with "dignified dying, active suicide (assisted or non/assisted), palliative care" or the "expected death" of a donor that generates the miracle of rebirth thru a transplant. However, before "biological death" comes "my own death" in the sense that no one can affront it in my place, that death is an authentic decision and a personal responsibility. Finally, while "voluntary death ( Freitod )" is analized , its ultimate motivations remain a mystery. It is suicide in melancholic and schizophrenic pathologies that cannot be understood thru psychiatrization but by a fascination with death instead. At other times, death does follow the bundles and worries of complicated situations (Jaspers). Last, the fact that we "cannot stand life" is present in limit situations, of complete abandonment, in which disappearance is for the solitary like a return to himself .

Palavras-chave : death; medicalization of death; technicalization of dying.

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