Moral Disengagement – Mechanisms Propelling the Euthanasia/PAS Movement

I samband med Claphaminstitutets långsiktiga opinionsbildande arbete mot dödshjälp har vår Fellow Fabian Ståhle fått en artikel publicerad i den internationella fackgranskade tidskriften Journal of Ethics in Mental Health. Artikeln beskriver vilka allvarliga krafter av moraliskt disengagemang som sätts i omlopp på de platser där dödshjälp eller läkarassisterat självmord är på väg att införas eller har införts. Detta skapar en avhumaniserande kultur, både hos de vårdanställda som tvingas medverka i dödandet och också samhället som helhet. Hela artikeln kan läsas här. Abstract återfinns här nedan.

Abstract

The international movement that promotes the legalisation of euthanasia/physician-assisted suicide (PAS) is propelled by highly potent psychological mechanisms to overcome the resistance to its agenda. It is all about cognitive restructuring to justify inhumane actions. These are always in use when normal, well-socialised persons are coerced into accepting and participating in the killing of fellow human beings. Various scientific studies, pioneered by Albert Bandura, have shown that participators are able to endure their deeds by activating these powerful mechanisms of moral disengagement.

However, those who make use of such mechanisms pay a high price. These mechanisms have a personality-changing power that dehumanizes the perpetrators. For the society that has allowed itself to be manipulated by such mechanisms for the purpose of systematizing “death on demand”, there are also serious consequences. These consequences can be described in terms of dehumanization and brutalization of that society as a whole.

Fabian Ståhle MSc, Fellow at The Clapham Institute, Sweden

Artikeln publicerad i Journal of Ethics in Mental Health; Special Theme Issue: II. Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) (2018)

Key Words: euthanasia, medically assisted dying, moral disengagement, dehumanization

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