Elderly Israelis and their family members meanings towards euthanasia

Ronit D. Leichtentritt*, Kathryn D. Rettig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The purpose of the study was to explore meanings of euthanasia, including the forms of active, passive, voluntary, involuntary, and physician-assisted death as described by 19 elderly Israelis and their 28 family members. The recorded personal interviews were analyzed using the phenomenological analysis method. The results demonstrated that participants distinguished between (a) accepting death (passive euthanasia) and seeking death (active euthanasia and physician-assisted death); (b) different decision-makers, including self for self (voluntary) self for others, and others for self(involuntary); and (c) the uniqueness of the Israeli context in comparison to similar decisions by people living elsewhere. The participants voiced contradictory considerations while discussing seeking or accepting death. The informant's wish to protect oneself and others was identified as the central principle that was used as a means for solving the dialectic, conflicting considerations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-78
Number of pages18
JournalFamilies, Systems and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


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