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Euthanasia Essay

872 words - 4 pages

The word Euthanasia originated from the Greek language: eu means "good" and thanatos means "death". One meaning given to the word is "the intentional termination of life by another at the explicit request of the person who dies." (Definition of Euthanasia by the Netherlands State Commission on Euthanasia.) Like so many moral, ethical, and religious terms, "euthanasia" has many meanings. The term euthanasia is an act that must be initiated by the person who wishes to commit suicide. However, some people define euthanasia as both voluntary and involuntary termination of life. The result is mass confusion. People have many different reasons for wanting to end their life by committing ...view middle of the document...

Perhaps the most common form of passive euthanasia is to give the patient large doses of morphine to control pain. These procedures are performed on terminally ill, suffering persons so that natural death will soon occur. It is also done on people in a persistent vegetative state - individuals with massive brain damage who are in a coma from which they cannot possibly regain consciousness. Active Euthanasia is when there is a death of a person done by a physician on the request of the patient. An example is the mercy killing in 1998 of a patient with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) by Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a Michigan physician. His patient was frightened that the advancing disease would cause him to die a horrible death in the near future. This man wanted a quick, painless exit from life. Dr. Kevorkian injected controlled substances into the patient causing his death. The objection of Euthanasia is because of many different reasons. People feel that the reasons above are no justification for suicide. If a patient continues to take the right medications and treatment then the patient will be able to enjoy more years of life rather then committing suicide. Traditional Christian beliefs concerning all forms of suicide were well documented by Thomas Aquinas (circa 1225-1274 CE). He condemned all suicide assisted or not. The document states that...

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