The Challenge of Definition
Koop, C. Everett
Hastings Center Report. 1989 Jan/Feb; 19(1): S2-S3.
Koop, Surgeon General of the United States, argues that the term "euthanasia," meaning "happy death," challenges the life-centered values of Western culture and heritage which hold each individual personally responsible for being a life-centered member of the human community. To reverse these values within the arena of medicine is to unleash the terror of a "euthanasian ethic" reminiscent of the state-sponsored euthanasia of Nazi Germany, which labeled millions of people "devoid of value." The terms "quality of life" and "withholding nutrition and fluids" are discussed within the context of the Baby Doe case of 1982, and the hypothetical case of "Granny Doe" is proposed as an illustration of the need to provide whatever medical treatment is indicated and to effectively manage pain during the remaining hours of life rather than hasten death with the overdose of a powerful painkiller. (KIE abstract)
Active Euthanasia; Adults; Aged; Allowing to Die; Congenital Disorders; Culture; Death; Drugs; Discrimination; Euthanasia; Intention; Killing; Life; Medicine; Newborns; Nutrition; Pain; Quality of Life; Social Discrimination; Social Impact; Suicide; Terminal Care; Terminally Ill; Value of Life; Values; Withholding Treatment;