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Euthanasia In Australia Essay

1841 words - 7 pages

Although euthanasia is a complex and controversial subject, under certain conditions people should have the right to decide to end their own lives. Is euthanasia murder or mercy? We need to understand what Mercy, Murder and Euthanasia are before we can form any opinion.

(Oxford dictionary) Mercy / (say mersee)
Compassionate or kindly forbearance shown towards: an offender, an enemy, or other person in one's power; compassion, pity, or benevolence.
Murder / (say merduh)
Unlawful killing of a human being by an act done: with intention to kill or to inflict grievous bodily harm. To kill or slaughter, inhumanly or barbarously.
Euthanasia is such a controversial word that it creates many discussions and even arguments. This has gone on since well before the first legal case of euthanasia had even happened and will continue for a long time to come.
The Oxford dictionary defines Euthanasia as (1) Painless, peaceful death (2) The deliberate putting to death painlessly of a person suffering from an incurable disease: also called mercy killing.
That seems simple enough as it is worded but there are different degrees of Euthanasia these are:
Passive (voluntary/non-voluntary) Euthanasia- This is where life sustaining treatment is either withheld or withdrawn, in order to bring about a quick and/or painless end or because continuing treatment may be unduly burdensome and/or medically futile.
Double Effect: This term is used to deny responsibility of an unforeseen death when medication is used to control pain and suffering but where the quantity of medication is the actual cause of death.
Medical/Physician Assisted Suicide: This is where a Doctor provides medication to a patient under their supervision to hasten his or her death quickly and peacefully.
Active Voluntary Euthanasia: This is where a patient asks for assistance to hasten their death and a doctor administers medication designed for this purpose.
These are the different terms used for Euthanasia but they are not just black and white, there are many differing shades of gray that fall between these lines. So this leaves the question; is Euthanasia Murder or Mercy?
Is it right to be able to chose to end one’s life? So many questions keep coming up. There are many different views on the euthanasia debate and then there is no clear line on where the difference between murder and mercy.

Taking a closer look into euthanasia around the world, we find Australia was the one country to lead the cause for legalized euthanasia. The Australian Northern Territory was the first place worldwide to conduct legal Euthanasia. The first case was Mr. Bob Dent, who would be the first man to die under the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act 1995. Mr. Dent died on Sunday September 22, 1996.
This Act was short lived and was overturned by the Andrews Bill (Kevin Andrews was a Victorian Liberal backbencher) on March 24th and 25th, 1997. The senate vote was 38 to 33. This was a disappointing setback...

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