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Anne Ryan

Doctor of Philosophy, (Psychology)
Study Completed: 2015
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Making Sense of Euthanasia: A Foucauldian Discourse Analysis of Death and Dying

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A hugely contentious issue in society today is whether individuals have the right to choose when and how to die. Ms Ryan undertook a genealogical analysis of how euthanasia has emerged as a possible solution to the problem of terminal illness. This challenged both the foundations and functions of our present day ''knowledge'' regarding euthanasia. In addition, Ms Ryan interviewed healthy people from the population in Aotearoa to explore how they talked about and made sense of death, dying and euthanasia. This revealed ways of speaking that enabled particular meanings of euthanasia to prevail in society and be accepted as ''common sense''. These discourses provided the potential to act in certain ways while marginalising alternative practices, and were pivotal to decisions regarding euthanasia.

Professor Mandy Morgan
Professor Antonia Lyons

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