Euthanasia: A Complex Issue

2008 Words9 Pages
Euthanasia is a very controversial issue around the world. Many doctors have conflicting opinions when it comes to this topic. “Euthanasia is the killing of someone through either an active or passive way of someone who suffers from an illness which arouses pity and who will never get better when asked by either the person himself/herself or his/her friends” (Nevzat). Euthanasia has been around for centuries. When Michael Stolberg narrates the story of Ambroise Paré in “Two Pioneers of Euthanasia around 1800,” he informs us that euthanasia was used as early as 1536. In the sad anecdote about the soldier, Stolberg opens the eyes of many to the ways euthanasia is performed. Not all acts of euthanasia are quite this severe. In 1800, Physician Carl Georg Theodor Kortum had various reports of terminally ill patients bound to die a horrible death if not for him. He explained some patients went through a period of not even being able to swallow. They stayed in this period until they slowly lost their sense. Some patients continued to live for another forty-eight hours until finally passing. He explained, “The only thing one could desire was that a gentle death end the patients suffering” (Stolberg). Some say Kortum could be considered the first physician to publically justify and advise active euthanasia. He saw euthanasia as helping terminally ill patients become comfortable again. Christian Ludwig Mursinna was a very well respected surgeon during this time, as well. Mursinna was the head surgeon at Charité hospital in Berlin and a professor of surgery. Like Kortum, Mursinna also publically admitted to shortening the suffering of one of his patients. After the patient asked... ... middle of paper ... ...a: Journal of Death & Dying 54.2 (2006): 135-145. Professional Development Collection. EBSCO. Web. 13 Jan. 2011. Stolberg, Michael. “Two Pioneers of Euthanasia around 1800.” Hastings Center Report. 19-22. Hastings Center, 2008. Health Source – Consumer Edition. EBSCO. Web. 13 Jan. 2011. Stolinsky, M.D, David C. “Assisted Suicide of the Medicle Profession.” 20 Mar. 2006. Web. 26 Jan. 2011. "Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care - Definition | Get Palliative Care." Palliative Care. Web. 27 Feb. 2011. . Whitney, Simon N., Bryan W. Brown, Howard Brody, Kirsten H. Alcser, Jerald G. Bachman, and Henry T. Greely. "Views of United States Physicians and Members of the American Medicle Association House of Delegates on Physician-assisted Suicide." Journal of General Internal Medicine 16 (20001): 290-96. Print.
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