- The first book to analyze the long history of palliative care, uncovering debates and practices surrounding terminal care, reaching back for centuries
- Investigates the development of medical debates, practices and institutions as well as at the personal experience of moribund patients and their families
- Links the plurisecular history of palliative care with an analysis of long-term developments in ethical debates and practices
This book on the history of palliative care, 1500-1970 traces the historical roots of modern palliative care in Europe to the rise of the hospice movement in the 1960s. The author discusses largely forgotten premodern concepts like cura palliativa and euthanasia medica and describes, howpatients and physicians experienced and dealt with terminal illness. He traces the origins of hospitals for incurable and dying patients and follows the long history of ethical debates on issues like truth-telling and the intentional shortening of the dying patients’ lives and the controversiesthey sparked between physicians and patients. An eye opener for anyone interested in the history of ethical decision making regarding terminal care of critically ill patients.
Born in Munich, in 1957, Michael Stolberg is chair of the history of medicine at the University of Würzburg, Germany. He was trained and worked as a physician in internal medicine and intensive care before turning to the history of medicine and obtaining a second doctoral degree in historyand philosophy in 1994. He has published a several books and numerous articles on the history of medicine, the history of the body and the history of medical ethics.