(Introduction to Part two: medicine versus euthanasia).

Author:Fenigsen, Richard
Position::Other People's Lives: Reflections on Medicine, Ethics, and Euthanasia

Sympathetic readers of this book's manuscript advised me to rewrite this part in an attempt to achieve a more unified result. I have earnestly considered their advice; yet I ultimately decided to leave the manuscript as it was. The whole has been written in the same spirit and with the same purpose; to affirm the art of medicine and the high calling of physicians. If the focus is changing in Part Two, this reflects the change which during my lifetime occurred in the mood and the preoccupations of the medical profession.

The movement in favor of euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide is primarily interpreted as a vote for individual autonomy and freedom of choice. But this is hardly a full explanation. The growing societal acceptance of voluntary euthanasia can only be truly understood if placed side by side with...

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