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Re: <nettime> The Vegetative Prince Will Not Wake Up: Dutch Prince Friso
mp on Mon, 27 Aug 2012 13:33:50 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> The Vegetative Prince Will Not Wake Up: Dutch Prince Friso medical ethics and the ordeal of social inequality


On 25/08/12 22:28, martin hardie wrote:

> The liberal Dutch laws did result in over two thousand people being
> killed without their permission in the first two years of its
> operation according to a Dutch government report. There its another
> dark side to the right to death debate that many liberals simply
> ignore. It is not without reason that the nazis passed the first laws
> on euthanasia.

It is easy and convenient, it seems, to pin things to Nazis, and there
is certainly a trend setting the Nazi reign apart from the rest of
European history, but that is of course far from the truth. Where
liberal cheerleaders see discontinuity, the historically discerned see
continuity.

As were the case with modern ideas of what in todays' context is
probably well labelled "detachment parenting" - that is, letting
children scream themselves to sleep in their own room from very early
on, feeding only on certain hours (to prepare for wage labour reality) -
all of which were thoroughly instituted by Nazis - the trend/ideas as
such came from the Victorians.

The history of euthanasia, then, does not begin with the Nazis, - see
for example:

"That in all cases of hopeless and painful illness, it should be the
recognized duty of the medical attendant, whenever so desired by the
patient, to administer choloroform or such other anaesthetic as may
by-and-bye supersede chloroform â so as to destroy consciousness at
once, and put the sufferer to a quick and painless death; all needful
precautions being adopted to prevent any possible abuse of such duty;
and means being taken to establish, beyond the possibility of doubt or
question, that the remedy was applied at the express wish of the
patient." â Samuel Williams (1872)

and in the US:

"The rise of the euthanasia movement in the United States coincided with
the so-called Gilded Age (i.e. late 1860s to about 1896) â a time of
social and technological change that encompassed an "individualistic
conservatism that praised laissez faire economics, scientific method,
and rationalism", along with major depressions, industrialisation and
conflict between corporations and labor unions. It was also a time that
saw the development of the modern hospital system, seen as a factor in
the emergence of the euthanasia debate."

m


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