Publication Details

Martin, B. (2013). Euthanasia tactics: patterns of injustice and outrage. SpringerPlus, 2 (256), 1-10.

Link to publisher version (URL)

SpringerPlus – a SpringerOpen Journal


Struggles over euthanasia can be examined in terms of tactics used by players on each side of the issue to reduce outrage from actions potentially perceived as unjust. From one perspective, the key injustice is euthanasia itself, especially when the person or relatives oppose death. From a different perspective, the key injustice is denial of euthanasia, seen as a person's right to die. Five types of methods are commonly used to reduce outrage from something potentially seen as unjust: covering up the action; devaluing the target; reinterpreting the action, including using lying, minimising consequences, blaming others and benign framing; using official channels to give an appearance of justice; and using intimidation. Case studies considered include the Nazi T4 programme, euthanasia in contemporary jurisdictions in which it is legal, and censorship of Exit International by the Australian government. By examining euthanasia struggles for evidence of the five types of tactics, it is possible to judge whether one or both sides use tactics characteristic of perpetrators of injustice. This analysis provides a framework for examining tactics used in controversial health issues.



Link to publisher version (DOI)