Euthanasia: A Complex Issue Essay

2014 Words 9 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
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“He would have died even later, and in an undescribably painful, horrendous manner, if I had not given him opiates so often and thus alleviated his indescribable suffering and promoted his end” (Stolberg).

When Stolberg studied Kortum and Mursinna, he looked for similarities in their lives to connect their thoughts on euthanasia. Both men had different jobs and life styles, but Stolberg found similarities in their professional lives and in German medicine that helped him better understand. Both physicians were highly experienced, and had seen many patients die. Mursinna, a military surgeon, had many interactions with injured and diseased soldiers. Kortum had fifteen years of experience as a physician in Stolberg, Germany. He worked around a heavily industrialized town, mostly filled with lower class. Consumption, an illness that causes a slow, agonizing death, was common among these people. For Kortum, witnessing these types of deaths was not uncommon. The last main similarity Stolberg found was their demonstration of what Thomas W. Laqueur called the humanitarian narrative. This narrative is a story focused on bodily suffering in order to bring out the reader’s compassion and sympathy. Both men used very detailed stories to evoke sympathy within their audiences to make euthanasia seem more reasonable. Medical writing in this time period took

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