Premium Essay


In: English and Literature

Submitted By lzpk
Words 524
Pages 3
Euthanasia is defined as "the act of bringing about the death of a hopelessly ill and suffering person in a relatively quick and painless way for reasons of mercy". Assisted suicide is one of the forms of euthanasia. However, generally, assisted suicide and euthanasia are taken for one and the same thing. According to Boylan (2000) in classic Greek, euthanasia means “good death” (p. 195). It is also, generally, known as mercy killing, which involves taking an action that will end the life of a patient that is afflicted with a terminal disease characterized by intense suffering which will surely result in the patient’s death. Richardson (2002) explains euthanasia as being divided into two different categories: active and passive. Active, also referred to as commission, is the act of bringing about one’s death; passive, or omission, is intentionally withholding a life-saving medical procedure, therefore allowing them to die. All of these are done with merciful intentions, and intentions to help the suffering person, it raises profound issues of importance for society, the medical profession and nursing. Physicians are frequently faced with the question of whether or not assisted suicide is ethical or immoral. There is an ongoing legal battle; the theoretical and practical parameters of euthanasia and assisted suicide are still debatable in society today. Although assisted suicide is currently illegal in almost all states in America, few states like Montana, Washington and Oregon legally support this idea (Derek Humphry, 2005).
The group that is fighting against the physician assisted suicide (PAS) argue, that there is a risk allowing physicians to participate in assisted suicide would cause more harm than good for patients that may be vulnerable and psychologically unstable; as doctors can easily influence such patients. PAS is still illegal in UK;...

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