Last updated on: 7/23/2013 | Author:

1870s – Samuel Williams Begins to Publically Advocate Using Morphine and Other Drugs for Euthanasia

“An important milestone in the euthanasia debate was the isolation of morphine in the nineteenth cenutry and its widespread use as an analgesic [a pain-relieving agent]… When the practice of analgesia had become reasonably well established, Samuel Williams, a nonphysician, began to advocate the use of these drugs not only to alleviate terminal pain, but to intentionally end a patient’s life… During the late 1800s, Williams’ euthanasia proposal received serious attention in the medical journals and at scientific meetings. Still, most physicians held the view that pain medication could be administered to alleviate pain, but not to hasten death.”