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Right to Die and Euthanasia under Greco Roman tradition

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Laelius View Drop Down
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  Quote Laelius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Right to Die and Euthanasia under Greco Roman tradition
    Posted: 31-Mar-2006 at 13:57

Very recently within the US we have had a very intensive debate on the subject of "Right to Die," whether individuals, or legal guardians, may refuse treatment or even engage in voluntary Euthanasia with the terminally ill.  Now as many of you know American Jurisprudence has very deep roots stretching back to the era of the Republic and Classical Hellas, in Roe v. Wade the Court opinion was based in part on the traditions of Classical Greece and Rome.  What I was wondering is what was the perspective on Euthanasia and Right to Die within the Greco Roman tradition?  Furthermore what influence should these perspectives and traditions bear in mordern day legality?

 

I won't lie, I am working on an idependent study and the motivation for this post is largely on the source material some of you might provide. 



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Nick1986 View Drop Down
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jan-2012 at 19:03
Hippocrates was strongly against prescribing drugs that would end life. It goes against everything the medical profession stands for and turns a healer into a murderer
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2012 at 19:28
On the other hand, many philosophers, including Socrates, had no problem with committing suicide to avoid dishonor or a slow death from terminal sickness
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  Quote okamido Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-May-2012 at 22:49
I have actually written two papers on the ethics of PAS, both in college and grad school. My personal psition is that I am fervantly against any Doctors or Nurses taking part in this....whatsoever.
Now saying that, I have no specific problem with suicide or even assisted suicide, but when certain countries in Europe force Doctors to take part in it, or attempt to pass legislation that allows euthanasia for persons under 18 years old, I have an issue.
 
 
To the Greco-Roman tradition, Nick touched on the code of Hippocrates, but it is also well known that suicide, from a personal point of view, unassisted by a 'doctor', was considered an honorable out to many problems, both publicly and militarily.


Edited by okamido - 31-May-2012 at 22:52
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2012 at 19:17
I'm with Okamido here. If someone wants to end their life, they must do so alone, by their own hand
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  Quote okamido Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jun-2012 at 16:52
Originally posted by Nick1986

I'm with Okamido here. If someone wants to end their life, they must do so alone, by their own hand
After joining this discussion, I went and looked up the Roman tradition od falling on one's sword. I found that the Romans actually had no name or term for this ritual and am now wondering just how prevelant it was, and if we all may have simply been bamboozled by Shakespeare.
 
If anyone actually knows of this for the Roman tradition...please share.
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  Quote okamido Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jun-2012 at 16:53

Originally posted by Nick1986

I'm with Okamido here. If someone wants to end their life, they must do so alone, by their own hand

After joining this discussion, I went and looked up the Roman tradition od falling on one's sword. I found that the Romans actually had no name or term for this ritual and am now wondering just how prevelant it was, and if we all may have simply been bamboozled by Shakespeare.
If anyone actually knows of this for the Roman tradition...please share.
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  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jun-2012 at 20:07
I'll see what i can find. It sounds very similar to the Japanese practise of hara-kiri: avoiding dishonor and capture by gutting oneself
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  Quote okamido Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jun-2012 at 00:10
Originally posted by Nick1986

I'll see what i can find. It sounds very similar to the Japanese practise of hara-kiri: avoiding dishonor and capture by gutting oneself
 
I still haven't found anything on this. Methinks that Shaxbeard has pulled a fast one on us.
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jun-2012 at 05:13
Has this anything to do with the Romans not pursuing families and estates of the dishonoured if suicide was forthcoming? 
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jun-2012 at 05:21

Mutiny on the Limes Germanicus

After the defeat of Varus, Augustus' adoptive son Tiberius (brother of Drusus) assumed command of the army on the Rhine, which was reinforced to eight legions. When Tiberius returned to Italy in 13 AD, Augustus appointed Drusus' son, Germanicus, commander of the eight legions on the Rhine. In the following year Augustus died, Tiberius being his successor.

Subsequently Junius Blaesus, commander of three legions in summer camp in Pannonia, gave the men a holiday. A soldier who had been a claqueur, Percennius, addressed the men on that occasion on the subject of soldier's rights. They needed a fixed contract, he said, a term of service of 16 seasons instead of 25 or 30, and a pay raise. The speech was far from comic. The men as he spoke began raise a dais of earth around him and brought the standards and that attracted the attention of the Praetor, Blaesus. Unable to dissuade the men, he agreed to send his son, a tribune, to Tiberius with the demands. The men settled down to await the reply.

Word of the mutiny spread to construction crews of the legions in nearby Nauportus. Arresting their commander, Aufidienus Rufus, they forced him to march at the head of the return column carrying heavy baggage and asking him all the while how he liked it. They plundered vici as they went. Arriving in camp they raised a riot. Attempting to quell it, Blaesus had loyal troops throw the rioters in the guardhouse, but they were set free, the tribunes were ejected from camp, and a harsh centurion murdered.

The soldiers were on the point of killing each other when Tiberius' own son, Julius Caesar Drusus arrived in camp with some troops, sealed the gates and proceeded to investigate and settle the mutiny in tribunal. The men rejecting his proposals, he sent them to their tents and sent men to speak to them personally. Gradually the men were recalled to duty. Drusus had the leaders executed and returned to Rome. No action yet was taken on the issues.

The XXI RapaxAlaudae, I Germanica and XX Valeria Victrix of the army of Germania Inferior heard of the mutiny at their summer camp among the Ubii. Aroused by new recruits from the city of Rome, the men attacked the centurions by surprise, beating many to death and throwing the bodies into the Rhine. The main command was isolated and the men ran the camp. Hearing of the mutiny, Germanicus left his tax-collecting duties in Gaul and hastened to the camp with a small retinue. He was just as popular as his father had been.

After mingling with the men and hearing their complaints, Germanicus persuaded them into formation, had the standards brought out and began a dialogue with them. At one point they bared their backs to show Germanicus the scars from lashing. At another Germanicus drew his sword and offered to commit suicide, but was restrained. Another soldier offered him a sharper sword. He withdrew to his tent.......

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legio_I_Germanica#Mutiny_on_the_Limes_Germanicus

What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
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