The distanasia , obstinacy , stubbornness or aggressive therapy is the use of all possible means, whether or provided not to artificially prolong life and therefore delay the advent of death in patients in the final stage of life, despite That there is no hope of healing.

Dysthanasia & euthanasia 

Dysthanasia is the opposite of euthanasia . It is known as antidistanasia the attitude of rejection dysthanasia, which in some cases it becomes a support euthanasia and others in defense of orthothanasia .

Both States and the various colleges of doctors and nurses have developed laws or codes that regulate when a medical action can be considered overkill .

The factors to take into account are the following:

  • I wish the sick and their families (recommended the drafting of living will )
  • The opinion of medical specialists (lex artis)
  • The proportionality of the means in relation to the result

It can be said that it is moral to continue normal treatments to relieve pain but can give up treatments that would only seek a precarious prolongation of life.

Implications dysthanasia

  • Unnecessary or futile prolongation of the means of life support
  • Irreversible situation
  • Malicious intent (see Primum non nocere , principle of non – maleficence)
  • Adoption of therapeutic measures contemplating scientific research


There are some criteria for the cruelty to be verified:

  • Uselessness or ineffectiveness of therapy
  • Pity or burdens for the sick
  • Exceptionality of interventions or therapeutic means (disproportionate means). 2

However, ordinary treatments to reduce discomfort should not be abandoned:

2. In the case of incurable and terminal illness, the physician should limit himself to alleviating the patient’s physical and moral pains, maintaining in the best possible way the quality of a life that is exhausted and avoiding to undertake or continue therapeutic actions without hope, useless and obstinate . It will assist the sick to the end, with the respect that deserves the dignity of the man.

3. The decision to put an end to artificial survival in the event of brain death shall only be made on the basis of the most stringent scientific criteria and the guarantees required by law. Before suspending care, two qualified and independent physicians of the team in charge of Obtain the organs for transplantation, they will sign a document that authenticates the situation

Code of ethics of the medical school of Spain, no. 28.

Magisterium of the Catholic Church 

John Paul II addressed the subject in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae:

There is certainly a moral obligation to heal and be healed, but such an obligation must be confronted with concrete situations; It is necessary to assess whether the therapeutic means available are objectively proportionate to the prospects for improvement. Waiver of extraordinary or disproportionate means is not tantamount to suicide or euthanasia; Rather it expresses the acceptance of the human condition before death.