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Euthanasia: For, Against, Or In The Middle

1836 words - 8 pages

What is Euthanasia? Euthanasia is derived from the Greeks where Eu means good and Thanatos means death. When these phrases are combined the word euthanasia is created; meaning “good death”. The act of deliberately ending a person’s life to relieve suffering, while leaving life in peace. Have you ever considered what you want when you are dying? If you were terminally ill or disabled with a reliance on life support to keep you alive, would you want a swift, painless, death or would you want pain and suffering? Will you chose life over death? Is it right or is it wrong?
There are four different types of euthanasia. The first type is active euthanasia. It is described as death by a person through direct action. Another person deliberately intervenes to end someone’s life, for example, injecting them with morphine.
The second form is passive euthanasia. Passive euthanasia simply means allowing patients to die when we can no longer ward off that death without inflicting upon them treatment that is either useless or exceedingly burdensome. The act of withholding or withdrawing treatment that is necessary to maintain life, such as, removing a life supporting system such as a feeding tube or respirator resulting in nature taking its course. This would be “letting die”, to allow someone to die with dignity.
The third type of euthanasia is called voluntary euthanasia where a person makes a conscious decision to die and asks someone to help do it, much like assisted suicide. Assisted suicide is the act of deliberately assisting or encouraging another person who commits, or attempts to commit, suicide. If a relative of a terminally ill cancer patient were to obtain sedatives, knowing that the person intended to take an overdose of sedatives to kill themselves, they would be considered to have assisted suicide. Assisted suicide is illegal under the terms of the Suicide Act (1961) and is punishable by up to 14 years' imprisonment. Attempting to commit suicide, however, is not a criminal act in itself.
The fourth type of euthanasia is in-voluntary euthanasia which means euthanasia committed against a person’s wishes or the person is unable to give consent; it is more commonly considered murder. An example of this would be if an individual is in a coma and another person makes the decision on their behalf, often times because the ill person has expressed a wish for how their life should end. If a doctor gave a terminally ill cancer patient an overdose of muscle relaxants to end their suffering, the doctor would be considered to have carried out euthanasia. Depending on the circumstances, euthanasia is regarded as either manslaughter or murder (killing) and is punishable by law with a maximum penalty of up to life imprisonment.
Pro-lifers and Pro-quality of lifers are absolutist in their commitments. Absolutist party positions are either for life at all cost or they want quality of life. If they cannot have quality of life...

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