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JAMA 100 Years Ago
March 24/31, 1999

EUPHORIA VS. EUTHANASIA.

JAMA. 1999;281(12):1068F. doi:10.1001/jama.281.12.1068F-JJY90006-2-1

The following from the London Lancet (Feb. 18, 1899, p. 489) is here presented as an example of unfortunate medical timidity and of how a thing ought not to be done.

To the Editors of the Lancet, Sirs:—Within a few weeks I have had under my care a case of carcinoma uteri extending to the bladder and adjacent parts. The pain accompanying the disease in its later stages was severe and only controlled by strong suppositories of morphia, and the patient's death struggle was an awful and most pitiable experience, lasting certainly three or four days. I tried liquor opii sedativus 10 minims every two hours, but only two or three doses could be swallowed. I seek in this letter information from my confrères on the treatment one should adopt in such cases—e.g., would it be justifiable to use morphia hypodermically? or to what extent would the inhalation of chloroform be admissible in mitigation of so great agony and distress? I am, Sirs, yours faithfully, EUTHANASIA.

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