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For practice of prolonging the life of animals, see Dysthanasia (animal).

In medicine, dysthanasia means "bad death"[1] and is considered a common fault of modern medicine:[2]

Technologies such as an implantable cardioverter defibrillator,[3] artificial ventilation, ventricular assist devices, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation can extend the dying process.

Dysthanasia is a term generally used when a person is seen to be kept alive artificially in a condition where, otherwise, they cannot survive; typically for some sort of ulterior motive. The term was used frequently in the investigation into the death of Formula One driver Ayrton Senna in 1994.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kothari M, Mehta L, Kothari V (2000). "Cause of death--so-called designed event acclimaxing timed happenings.". J Postgrad Med 46 (1): 43–51. PMID 10855082.  Free Full Text.
  2. ^ Batchelor A, Jenal L, Kapadia F, Streat S, Whetstine L, Woodcock B (2003). "Ethics roundtable debate: should a sedated dying patient be wakened to say goodbye to family?". Crit Care 7 (5): 335–8. doi:10.1186/cc2329. PMC 270714. PMID 12974961.  Free Full Text.
  3. ^ Kaufman SR, Mueller PS, Ottenberg AL, Koenig BA (2011). "Ironic technology: Old age and the implantable cardioverter defibrillator in US health care.". Soc Sci Med 72 (1): 6–14. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.09.052. PMC 3032945. PMID 21126815.