Euthanasia pp 103-109 | Cite as

Some Aspects of Euthanasis from the Point of View of a Family Doctor

  • E. McClatchey
Part of the Medicolegal Library book series (MEDICOLEGAL, volume 2)


The Concise Oxford Dictionary’s definition of euthanasia is “gentle and easy death; bringing about of this, especially in the case of incurable and painful disease”. One would expect general approval of such a compassionate and human aim. It is not the fact of dying that worries people: it is fear of the manner of dying, or of being kept “alive” in such a piteous condition that death would be infinitely preferable. Not all can say or are ever given the chance to say, as did Robert Browning in Prospice:

I was ever a fighter, so — one fight more, The best and the last!

I would hate that death bandaged my eyes, and forebore, And bade me creep past.

No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers The heroes of old

Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life’s arrears Of pain, darkness and cold.

For sudden the worst turns the best to the brave...


Brain Death Family Doctor Persistent Vegetative State Skull Defect Voluntary Euthanasia 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. McClatchey

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