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Arch Hellen Med, 33(Supplement 1), 2016, 39-46


The answer of the centuries. In history, the euthanasia pendulum swings between the two extremes

S.J. Geroulanos
International Hippocratic Foundation

Since humanity's earliest written works, the issue of euthanasia has been sparking controversy. From Moses' "do not kill", the pendulum swings between the two extremes. The dogma of the Old Testament (Sophia Seirah) "death is preferable to a punishing, miserable life" is not yet accepted as a universal axiom, except maybe for ourselves. Although great men like Aeschylus, Sophocles, Hippocrates, Plato, Socrates, the Stoics, Shakespeare and others recognize human beings' right to self-determination when it comes to their own death, European Law, with the exception of Switzerland and the Benelux, is still bound by the experience of World War II. The so called "Euthanasia" program of the Third Reich (in reality, cold murders, i.e., dysthanasia maximal) and the Trial of Nuremberg (1948) have left their mark on European Law, including the Greek Penal Code (1951) whose article 300 needs urgent revision to keep up with modern reality.

Key words: ╬Ľuthanasia, Good death, Medical deontology, Medical history, Third Reich Euthanasia Program, Trial of Nuremberg, When should we die (WSWD).

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