The Modern Art of Dying: A History of Euthanasia in the United States

By Shai J. Lavi | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FIVE

Lethal Dosing: Technique beyond the Law

Introduction

IN 1936, a bill was introduced before the British House of Lords, the purpose of which was to legalize medical euthanasia under certain conditions and limitations.1 The bill failed to pass a second reading, though it won the support of more than a fourth of the House members. The Catholic members of the House, whose unwavering position against euthanasia was predictable, strongly objected to the bill. The scales were tilted, however, not by religious objection but by a speech delivered by Lord Dawson, one of England's eminent physicians.2 Lord Dawson presented before the House of Lords medical and social considerations opposing the legalization of euthanasia. His argument was surprising. Dawson did not argue that the practice of euthanasia violated medical, moral or legal norms. His main argument was, rather, that there was no need for the law. Physicians, he believed, were ever more willing to alleviate the pain of the dying, even when it involved the shortening of life. The development of these new medical practices would serve as an alternative solution to euthanasia. These practices, which heretofore had not been popular, were now spreading among the medical profession and reaching the laity as well. In time, Dawson predicted, there would be no need to discuss the legalization of euthanasia: The pain of terminally ill patients would be alleviated even at the price of hastening the time of death. According to Dawson, the development of medical and technological practices would serve as an alternative route, deeming legislation needless.

Dawson saw ahead of his time. In his 1936 speech, he foresaw the emergence of a new medical practice that could be named “lethal dosing.” In it, physicians would provide terminally ill patients with the necessary dosage to alleviate their pain, knowing that such action would hasten their death.

Over the course of the century, this medical practice that took off in the early decades of the twentieth century gradually turned into a widely accepted medical practice.3 Today, lethal dosing is not only regularly practiced in hospitals and hospices but is openly recognized and recommended

-126-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Modern Art of Dying: A History of Euthanasia in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 226

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.