Euthanasia: An Informative Essay

517 words - 2 pages

The first person to be legally voluntarily euthanised in Australia was Bob Dent in the Northern Territory, in the year of 1996. This controversial issue has raised many dilemmas throughout society, and so far it seems there is no clear solution. The implications of euthanasia will be discussed herein. Defining the issue and exploring both sides of the controversy has proven to be a difficult task.The word 'euthanasia' comes from the Greek words 'eu' and 'thanatos', together translating as 'good death'. The Oxford Concise Medical Dictionary defines euthanasia as the 'act of taking life to relieve suffering'. In practice euthanasia proves to be far more complex, as it comes in a variety of forms. Passive euthanasia is the deliberate withdrawal of treatment and nourishment for the terminally ill patient. Active euthanasia is on the authority or for the best interests of the patient who perhaps is unable to speak for him or herself. For example, a hospital could decide when to take someone off a life support machine. Voluntary euthanasia is when the patient makes a request to have their life terminated, through the administration of a drug or other means. There is also involuntary euthanasia, which is when a life is taken away without and individual's consent and against their will and is one of the many causes for the sensitivity and distress surrounding this matter.Euthanasia is also known 'mercy killing' (Bachman 1999) or 'physician assisted-suicide'. The word 'mercy' means 'compassion', yet combined with the term 'killing' becomes a juxtaposition of contrasting meanings. Such terms as these are very...

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