The contemporary conceptualisation of natural death in social science and health care literature may be seen as elision of potentially paradoxical ideas in which the process of dying, as opposed to the moment of death, is a key determinant of the manner in which death is regarded.
In the predominant rhetoric, medical-technological intervention during dying is emblematic of inhumane and unnatural death.
Highly technological clinical settings, where medical intervention in the process of dying is so clearly visible, are held up as extreme examples of the metamorphosis of death from'natural'into'unnatural'events.
This paper examines the reification of natural'death within these writings, focusing on the taken for granted polarisation of technology and natural'death with which they are underpinned.
The paper then turns to an assessment of the validity of this reification by examining some ethnographic case study data concerning the experiences of the close companions of three people who died, or came near to death, within intensive care : arguably an environment in which death is at its most highly medicalised.
The data, which are drawn from a wider ethnography of death and dying in two general adult intensive care units, suggest that it is perceptions of the meaning of technology, rather than its simple minimisation or absence, which determine representations of death within highly technological settings. (...)
Mots-clés Pascal : Mort, Mortalité, Soin palliatif, Soin intensif, Soin, Expérience personnelle, Aspect culturel, Evaluation, Perception sociale, Homme, Article synthèse, Soins médicaux
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Death, Mortality, Palliative care, Intensive care, Care, Personal experience, Cultural aspect, Evaluation, Social perception, Human, Review
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 99-0350952
Code Inist : 002B30A11. Création : 14/12/1999.