Document Detail

Ancient euthanasia: 'good death' and the doctor in the graeco-Roman world.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14732610     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
This article maps the concept of 'good death' (euthanasia) in the ancient world and explores the marginal role of the doctor at a 'good dying'. His assistance was not needed when the Homeric warrior died as a hero and was expected to accept death with resignation. Later the city-state regarded as heroes the men fallen for the cause of the community, honouring these model citizens as those who died well. In the more individualistic age of Hellenism and the Roman Empire, a death in luxury or without suffering could be styled euthanasia. The doctor had neither a place in those acts of dying nor in cases of natural death. He shunned death as a failure of his art. Sometimes a doctor was called in to assist in voluntary death, a role that was not forbidden by the Hippocratic oath. An appeal to this oath by opponents of euthanasia in the modern sense of the word therefore is mistaken.
Anton J L Van Hooff
Publication Detail:
Type:  Historical Article; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Social science & medicine (1982)     Volume:  58     ISSN:  0277-9536     ISO Abbreviation:  Soc Sci Med     Publication Date:  2004 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-01-20     Completed Date:  2004-04-06     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8303205     Medline TA:  Soc Sci Med     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  975-85     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Ancient History, Nijmegen University, Erasmusplein 1, room 10.05, NL-6525HT Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Export Citation:
APA/MLA Format     Download EndNote     Download BibTex
MeSH Terms
Attitude to Death
Ethics, Clinical
Euthanasia / ethics,  history*,  psychology
Greek World / history*
Hippocratic Oath
History, Ancient
Physician's Role / history*
Roman World / history*
Suicide, Assisted / ethics,  history*,  psychology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Previous Document:  Media constructions of dying alone: a form of 'bad death'.
Next Document:  Good death and bad death in ancient Israel according to biblical lore.