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Euthanasia - Essay Example

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For example, a doctor who decides to give a lethal injection to his patient who had given him the advance directive not to hasten his death and is now unconscious suffers his/her final stages of an illness that is terminal. There are times when the terms used in defining euthanasia bring about confusion or not clear like the use of the word “mercy killing” in describing non-voluntary and voluntary euthanasia situations. Countries like European and most especially Netherlands, the major differences between euthanasia, homicide, suicide, and suicides that are assisted are clear. In Canada and the United States, suicide assisted deaths and suicide assisted by physicians are confusing many people when used. Assisted suicide is when the acts of killing an individual are intentional. The word assisted has been added to mean that there is an individual who is providing assistance in the suicide act hence supplies the means like lethal medication prescription or gun, the specific knowledge on how to induce the medicine or use the gun appropriately, or both means and knowledge. North America has used the term assisted suicide in the media industry to mean that act which is directed by an individual intentionally to end the life of another. The reason behind this is because the legal sanctions associated with assisted suicide are less than those of killing a person with an intention of relieving them from the pain of a long term illness thus referred to as “euthanasia.” Jack Kevorkian a pathologist who made headlines in 1990 for killing over 130 people put his claims of participation in those deaths as that of assisted deaths and not euthanasia. There exists a very fine line between assisted suicide and euthanasia. For instance, Northern Territory of Australia between July 1996 and March 1997 legalized euthanasia through the use of a computer machine that pumped lethal substance to the individual after he/she successfully answers the question asked by the computer and presses the required key. There are those arguments that are in favor of euthanasia based on individual liberty beliefs and situations of life considered unacceptable. These arguments in favor of euthanasia are based on religious/moral values and those of value and human life quality. The good death is the one that a person falls into eternal sleep thus euthanasia assures an individual dies dignifiedly and appropriately. David Hume a philosopher agreed that an individual has a right to choose the kind of death they would want hence emphasizes on individual liberty value. The right to human dignity maintenance aims at avoiding poor life quality during the process of death than to seek a particular way of having a good idealized death, as is the case of good death. There are also arguments against euthanasia which include sanctity of human life, the wrong diagnoses and new treatments given to patients, the slope that is wedged or slippery, disadvantaged, weak, and incompetent protection, wrong reasons of choosing death, clinical depression undiagnosed, physicians confidence eroded, and the compromise one makes when choosing to involve others in his/her death. Active and passive euthanasia Active euthanasia occurs in situations where another person or medical professions do something deliberately that, ...Show more

Summary

Name: Course: Tutor: Date: Definition of the problem in depth Euthanasia is a word that originates from a Greek word, which means good death. The Canadian Senate Special Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide defined the term euthanasia as the act undertaken deliberately by an individual to intentionally take the life of another person with the aim of relieving them from the pain they are feeling and thus leading to their death (Senate of Canada, 1995)…
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Euthanasia essay example
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