INFORMAL DISCUSSIONS ABOUT MORAL SITUATIONS. AN ANALYSIS OF ONLINE DISCOURSES ON EUTHANASIA AND ASSISTED SUICIDE
Euthanasia and assisted suicide are two topics of major interest that are on the current list of the most debated controversies of contemporary societies. Individualsʼ beliefs about this subject are socially constructed and differ from case to case, from one constructed social reality to another, depending on the norms and values that individuals have internalized, but intersecting in what Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann (1966) call the supreme reality, namely everyday life, that “here and now” without which the world could not unfold. To understand the antithetical attitudes of individuals, Wright C. Mills (1940) comes up with the concept of vocabularies of motive that simplifies the understanding of different past, present or future behaviors regarding certain delimited social situations. This study proposes an analysis of the online perspectives of individuals on euthanasia and assisted suicide, focusing on how the vocabularies of motive of the two antagonistic worlds are outlined. Thus, the highlighted arguments are based religion (theological arguments), the dignity of the patient, the advantages and disadvantages of legalizing euthanasia, the medical system between performance and deception.
Keywords: euthanasia, assisted suicide, social construction of reality, vocabularies of motive.