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Media Coverage of Medical Decision Making at the End of Life: A Belgian Case Study

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This article presents a content analysis of Belgian media coverage of end-of-life decision making. The authors examine a selection of press articles and the differences among media genres in covering the issue. In general terms, they found an overreporting of euthanasia; a focus on dying processes resulting from cancer and Alzheimer's disease; and an attention to political discussions and political voices, which outnumber patient voices. In genre-specific terms, unlike mainstream media, niche media reported less mediagenic aspects of the end of life. Finally, although popular mainstream media focus on personal aspects of the end-of-life, elite mainstream media privilege political aspects.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Studies on Media and Culture, Vrije University Brussels, Brussels, Belgium 2: End-of-Life Care Research Group, Ghent University, Vrije University Brussels, Brussels, Belgium

Publication date: February 7, 2014

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