Morals and Moralism in the Debate over Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

Christine K. Cassel, Diane E. Meier

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

85 Scopus citations


The newspaper headlines in early June about Dr. Jack Kevorkian and the “suicide machine” with which Mrs. Janet Adkins took her life captured the attention of the nation and stimulated anew the long-running public debate over assisted suicide and euthanasia. Many aspects of the Kevorkian—Adkins case were extreme, and their disturbing quality evoked some of the medical profession's worst fears about the risks of legalized mercy killings. We believe that the extreme aspects of cases such as this have obscured the central issues. We hope that the observations we make here will help move the debate beyond the polarized pronouncements…

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-752
Number of pages3
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 13 Sep 1990


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