A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America by Ian Dowbiggin

By Ian Dowbiggin

Whereas it can look that debates over euthanasia all started with Jack Kervorkian, the perform of mercy killing extends again to historic Greece and past. In the United States, the talk has raged for good over a century. Now, in A Merciful finish, Ian Dowbiggin bargains the 1st full-scale historic account of 1 of the main arguable reform activities in the United States. Drawing on extraordinary entry to the files of the Euthanasia Society of the United States, interviews with vital figures within the circulate at the present time, and flashpoint circumstances equivalent to the tragic destiny of Karen Ann Quinlan, Dowbiggin tells the dramatic tale of the boys and ladies who struggled through the 20th century to alter the nation's attitude--and its laws--regarding mercy killing. In tracing the background of the euthanasia circulate, he files its intersection with different innovative social factors: women's suffrage, contraception, abortion rights, in addition to its uneasy pre-WWII alliance with eugenics. Such hyperlinks introduced euthanasia activists into fierce clash with Judeo-Christian associations who anxious that "the correct to die" could turn into a "duty to die." certainly, Dowbiggin argues that through becoming a member of a occasionally overzealous quest to maximise human freedom with a wish to "improve" society, the euthanasia circulate has been dogged by way of the phobia that mercy killing can be prolonged to individuals with disabilities, handicapped newborns, subconscious geriatric sufferers, lifelong criminals, or even the negative. Justified or no longer, such fears have stalled the move, as a growing number of americans now favor greater end-of-life care than wholesale alterations in euthanasia legislation. For a person attempting to make a decision no matter if euthanasia deals a humane replacement to lengthy ache or violates the "sanctity of life," A Merciful finish offers interesting and much-needed historic context.

Show description

Read or Download A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America PDF

Similar health & medical law books

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FORENSIC AND LEGAL MEDICINE

Encyclopedia of Forensic and criminal drugs, Volumes 1-4, moment variation is a pioneering 4 quantity encyclopedia compiled via a global staff of forensic experts who discover the connection among legislation, drugs, and technology within the research of forensics. this significant paintings comprises over 300 cutting-edge chapters, with articles masking crime-solving innovations comparable to autopsies, ballistics, fingerprinting, hair and fiber research, and the delicate systems linked to terrorism investigations, forensic chemistry, DNA, and immunoassays.

Legal and Ethical Aspects of Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Perioperative Medicine

Medical judgements in glossy scientific perform are more and more prompted by means of moral and felony matters, yet few medical professionals were officially knowledgeable in clinical legislations and ethics, and are uncertain of capability assets of obtainable details, which leaves them uncovered to public feedback and the specter of criminal motion.

Best Interests of the Child In Healthcare (Biomedical Ethics)

Topical and compelling, this quantity presents a very good re-examination of the ‘best pursuits’ attempt within the healthcare enviornment; the ways that it has constructed, the inherent problems in its use and its interpretation in felony instances about the therapy of youngsters. Comprehensively overlaying either the English and Scottish place in the context of the eu conference of human Rights and the UN conference at the Rights of the kid, the writer examines a variety of healthcare events, from the generally taking place to the weird, delivering an in depth research of laws, case legislation, circumstances and their implications.

Informed Consent: A Primer for Clinical Practice

The literature on expert consent and its ethico-legal importance in medical perform has grown swiftly lately. This distinctive ebook bargains a pragmatic description of the foundations of knowledgeable consent and their program in day-by-day medical perform. Written by way of a group of specialists in clinical ethics and legislations, the chapters use a case-based method of elucidate the essence of consent and spotlight the ways that person sufferers and various occasions can form or even problem the basic rules of knowledgeable consent.

Additional resources for A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America

Example text

Interest in euthanasia during the Progressive era relied instead on an elementary philosophic position that emphasized the need to construct new value systems, due to the revolutionary implications for traditional moral conduct of Darwinism, eugenics, positivism, scientific naturalism, and Progressive social improvisation. Robert Ingersoll was one of the very first to defend this viewpoint, but just as certainly he was not the last. Still, in the years leading up to World War I, few predicted that Ingersoll’s and Adler’s ideas would have much impact.

In the early hours of 12 November 1915, at Chicago’s GermanAmerican Hospital, Anna Bollinger gave birth to her fourth child, a seven-pound baby boy. Her pregnancy had been uneventful and her labor fairly brief. However, the attending physician quickly noticed that the baby was blue and badly deformed. After conferring with the father, the doctor awakened Harry J. Haiselden, the hospital’s forty-five-year-old chief of staff. Haiselden diagnosed a litany of physical defects, the most serious being no anal aperture.

Haiselden’s eugenic characterization of euthanasia sensationalized what had happened to the Bollinger baby. “Eugenics? Of course it’s eugenics,” Haiselden explained to a reporter who had asked him about his decision not to operate. 98 Before 1915 the consensus among the leaders of the eugenics movement, including Karl Pearson, Harry H. Laughlin, Paul Popenoe, and Roswell Hill Johnson, was that euthanasia of the unfit was unwise and useless. ”99 Other eugenicists, such as Yale economist Irving Fisher and biologist Charles Davenport, who dismissed euthanasia as a eugenic measure before 1915, defended Haiselden in the wake of the Bollinger incident.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.77 of 5 – based on 10 votes