Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 66 (2):487 - 503 (2010)

Abstract
Uma história inicial exemplifica a extensão dos problemas com que doentes e profissionais de saúde se confrontam hoje, nas fases finais de vida. O desenvolvimento científico e tecnológico do último século onginou problemas de índole moral que levaram à criação de um novo corpo teórico que complementa a ética médica, incapaz de, por si só, dar resposta aos problemas da biomedicina actual. No artigo aborda-se esta evolução e tipificam-se os problemas associados com as intervenções médicas em fim de vida. From it's very beginnings till the end of the XIX th century medicine has always been devoted to the care of those in pain and suffering. The growing core of knowledge and it's interpretative theories have evolved, of course, but the moral structure of medical profession has remained almost unchanged until then. The fast growing capacities of the medical applied science and technology in the XXth century implied a new set of moral problems. Among them end of life decisions which became much more than medical problems. We briefly show how these problems changed medical morality and social evaluation of medical actions and how these generated a new theoretical core -the bioethical one
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