Active euthanasia in pre-modern society, 1500-1800: learned debates and popular practices.

  title={Active euthanasia in pre-modern society, 1500-1800: learned debates and popular practices.},
  author={Michael Austin Stolberg},
  journal={Social history of medicine : the journal of the Society for the Social History of Medicine},
  volume={20 2},
  • M. Stolberg
  • Published 1 August 2007
  • Medicine
  • Social history of medicine : the journal of the Society for the Social History of Medicine
Historians of medical ethics have found that active euthanasia, in the sense of intentionally hastening the death of terminally-ill patients, was considered unacceptable in the Christian West before the 1870s. This paper presents a range of early modern texts on the issue which reflect a learned awareness of practices designed to shorten the lives of dying patients which were widely accepted among the lay public. Depriving the dying abruptly of their head-rest or placing them flat on the cold… 

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