Louis Pasteur and the Six Russian Peasants: a Significant French Episode of XIX Century

Federico Nicoli, Giuseppe Armocida, Mario Picozzi


The article presents a clinical case of euthanasia occurring at the end of the Nineteenth century. Was there an undisputed or conditioned acceptance of euthanasic practices? We will present a short contribution to the historical debate about euthanasia: our reflections take origin from the reading of the  autobiographical narrative by Axel Munthe, the Story of San Michele, a masterpiece by the great Swedish physician and writer. His pages describe a nineteenth-century clinical case of euthanasia, forgotted or eluded by the medical history and by bioethical reflections: although not described in scientific literature, this pages are well known by contemporary narrative and literature specialists.

Key words: Euthanasia - Pain - Cruelty - Compassionate death

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