Article Summary by Baruch Shomron
Euthanasia refers to the intentional ending of a person’s life with the intent of alleviating great pain or suffering. As such, euthanasia is an important social and quality of life issue. However, it is highly controversial and is continuously debated around the world. Indeed, as a value-laden issue, its legitimacy and legality differ between countries and societies. Yet, little is known about the role the media plays in society concerning this topic. To help fill this gap, this study analyzes mass media content and social media content in Israel as a case study on the matter. The results of this study reveal two central findings: (1) the media in Israel often enables people to voice their personal euthanasia-related stories, (2) however, it limits the general discussion on the topic of euthanasia to a narrow array of discourse, therefore confining the social debate. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the societal role media plays in general and the role it is serving in the context of euthanasia. Thus, shedding light on the media’s role in hindering or promoting human freedom, wellbeing, and quality of life in general, and concerning the act of euthanasia itself.
Read the full article on the Medical Humanities journal website.
Baruch Shomron is a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Communication at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany. His research focuses on communication rights, media capabilities, media representations, the digital divide, and health communication, especially regarding marginalized populations.