Zur fernsehmedialen Konstruktion von Bioethik – Eine Analyse der Gestaltungsmerkmale von Fernsehdokumentationen über die Sterbehilfe

Ethik in der Medizin 12 (3):122-138 (2000)
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Abstract

A narrative analysis of a sequence from a documentary on the withholding of treatment in persistent vegetative state allows the discernment of several characteristics of the approach of the media to medical ethical problems: (1) The arrangement of the story units in the film sequence corresponds to established patterns of movie dramaturgy. (2) The documentary ”hollywoodizes” morality; it interprets the arena of the problem in the realm of the movie theatre and not in the realm of ethical discourse. (3) The moral decision occurs in the return to mythical narrative structures which show a tendency to confirm perceived established world interpretation. (4) Morality is reduced to black and white characterizations. (5) The ethical conflict is transmitted through the plane of personal action which tends to blot out complex interdependencies. (6) Private happiness forms the basis for an essential set of criteria for all actions and decisions. The rational weighing of criterion is not easily transmittable by television; instead, television, due to its audiovisual sensory nature, has a great potential to awaken insight into and understanding of specific situations and personal experience. Thus television can supplement the philosophical discipline of hermeneutical bioethics in generating sympathy and deeper understanding

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