The History of Euthanasia Debates in the United States and Britain

  title={The History of Euthanasia Debates in the United States and Britain},
  author={Ezekiel J. Emanuel},
  journal={Annals of Internal Medicine},
  • E. Emanuel
  • Published 15 November 1994
  • Medicine
  • Annals of Internal Medicine
In the midst of divisive public debates, we frequently look to history and past epochs to gain guidance and understanding, to explore the genesis of our ideas and practices, and to critically compare them with alternatives. In the debate over euthanasia, commentators have examined ancient Greece and Rome, where many people preferred voluntary death to endless agony. This form of euthanasia was an everyday reality. (and) many physicians actually gave their patients the poison for which they were… 

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

  • M. Stolberg
  • Medicine
    Social history of medicine : the journal of the Society for the Social History of Medicine
  • 2007
A range of early modern texts on the issue of active euthanasia reflect a learned awareness of practices designed to shorten the lives of dying patients which were widely accepted among the lay public.

The Shift Towards Death

Euthanasia, the notion of having a good death, is an idea that originated in ancient Greece. Greek discussions about euthanasia illustrate that the human fear of a slow death and the subsequent loss

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The Euthanasia debate has, since the time immemorial, been one of the most controversial topicswithin the international community. The differing opinions centers on two fundamental concepts: the

The continent of murder: disability and the Nazi 'euthanasia' programme in the euthanasia debates of Britain and the United States, 1945-present

This thesis considers the impact that ideas about disability and disabled people have had on debates about euthanasia in Britain and the United States since the end of the Second World War. I

Euthanasia: A Perspective 10.31995/ jgv.2020.v11i01.005 Abstract The moral permissibility of euthanasia is one of the most controversial questions confronting our society today. In this paper, I will attempt

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The need to provide clearer definitions of the concepts relating to euthanasia is demonstrated, for in the past the term has led to major confusion and uncontrolled abuse and bioethical topics should be included in medical training and continuing education.

A Duty to Kill? A Duty to Die? Rethinking the Euthanasia Controversy of 1906

  • J. Appel
  • Law
    Bulletin of the history of medicine
  • 2004
This essay seeks to chronicle the controversy surrounding euthanasia that came to a head in the United States around 1906, and to situate that debate in a meaningful historical context. An extensive

Consequences count: against absolutism at the end of life.

It is argued that despite a moral pluralism that operates in many areas, the legal status of euthanasia is based upon an absolute deontological position against deliberate killing, which cannot be overridden by appeals to favourable consequences.

The Other Side of Euthanasia: A Practice Perspective from Australia

The inclusion of killing in the therapeutic armamentarium will cause an inexorable erosion of what is at present an absolute protection for the patient, the doctor, and other healthcare professionals.

Euthanasia: Issues Implied Within

There is a need to understand the arguments and counter arguments given for euthanasia so that formal guidelines can be worked out regarding this vital issue, and the people practicing medicine should have an analytical viewpoint while having a debate on euthanasia.



Voluntary active euthanasia.

  • D. Brock
  • Medicine, Political Science
    The Hastings Center report
  • 1992
The aim is to increase the light, and perhaps as well to reduce the heat, on this important subject by formulating and evaluating the central ethical arguments for and against voluntary active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.


The last moments of our earthly career, the moments of transition from life to death, present a solemn and direful spectacle. To employ means to keep the dying individual a little longer on life's

Permitting the destruction of unworthy life. Its extent and form.

The author states that obtaining an intact copy of the original German text was strangely difficult, and that the only North American library that appears to own the book is Harvard's Widener Library, which was unable to locate it.

The End of Life: Euthanasia and Morality

In this provocative book, a professor of philosophy examines the arguments for and against euthanasia, analyzes specific case studies, including those of Baby Jane Doe and Barney Clark, and offers an

Morals and moralism in the debate over euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Observations are made that the extreme aspects of cases such as this have obscured the central issues and it is hoped that the observations made here will help move the debate beyond the polarized pronouncements.

Medical Ethics in Antiquity: Philosophical Perspectives on Abortion and Euthanasia

Diverse Medical Ethical Perspectives on Abortion and Euthanasia, Physicians and Philosophers, and Physicians and the State.

Active euthanasia in The Netherlands.

A number of Dutch institutions have developed procedures and policies to enable physicians and health care providers to participate in active euthanasia in an acceptable and controllable manner, however, many Dutch physicians remain uncomfortable with the professional and public tolerance of this practice.


Eugenics: past, present, and the future.

A short history of the American and German eugenics programs is provided and a review of their possible relations to the authors' current practices is concluded.

Holding the line on euthanasia.

  • S. Wolf
  • Medicine
    The Hastings Center report
  • 1989
Any argument for easing the prohibition of active euthanasia must acknowledge the consequences, which could be a loss of ground hard won.