Euthanasia can come in a variety of five forms and it is important to know the distinctions among them. The main types that euthanasia encompasses are first voluntary euthanasia which refers to when a person has selected and specified that they wish for their life to end and have taken measures to say as such (What). Normally this is done through an Advanced Directive which is created ahead of time so that if a person becomes unable to make medical decisions (such as in the cases of coma, dementia and other debilitating afflictions) their wishes and thoughts will be made in their stead (qtd. in Bonin). The other main procedural type is non-voluntary euthanasia, which transpires when the death has neither been requested nor consented to (this is also typically in cases of coma and dementia). This form of euthanasia is the one that is most strenuously fought against and worries the anti-euthanasia proponents the most as it is the type that most closely resembles murder (and could even possibly qualify as such).
There are two procedural ones with the first being passive euthanasia, which is where any life-sustaining surgeries, equipment (including respirators) or treatment are ceased or withheld; passive euthanasia is generally acceptable by law and the majority of religions as it is not seen as deliberately ending a life but instead not trying to use extra measures to prolong it. The second procedural type is active euthanasia, which is where an individual’s death is caused purposely and through specific actions (qtd. in Bonin). The last type of euthanasia is euthanasia by omission, which results through the planned causation of fatality through the withdrawn or suspended lack or essentials necessary to life (Bonin; What). This is different from passive euthanasia because it involves not providing shelter, food and water which are essential for everyone to live and are not considered “extras” as a respirator or other machine (as in the case of passive euthanasia).
Currently euthanasia is only legalized in Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands while assisted suicide is legal in Japan, Germany, Albania, Colombia and Switzerland (as well as in Luxembourg and the Netherlands) .Within the United States, Oregon ,Vermont, Montana, New Mexico and Washington have legalized PAS but none has legalized euthanasia (State). In all of these jurisdictions, certain procedures, safeguards and criteria were developed in order to prevent misuse and abuse. While they vary from place to place they tend to involve several requests to be made to the physician (over a determined time period), a short amount of expected life remaining, a second opinion done by another doctor, a minimum age (with the exception of Belgium which allows euthanasia for minors) and the incident must be reported. Currently in the US, assisted suicide (where illegal) varies in prison time but most sentences are from seven to twenty-five years (What).
Regrettably, the mandatory reporting...