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Euthanasia, also known as mercy killing is a practice of ending a life to release an individual from an incurable disease or intolerable suffering. Euthanasia has been accepted both legally and morally in various forms in many societies but not in all. “In ancient Greece and Rome it was permissible in some situations to help others die. For example, the Greek writer Plutarch mentioned that in Sparta infanticide was practiced on children who lacked "health and vigor." Both Socrates and Plato sanctioned forms of euthanasia in certain cases. Voluntary euthanasia for the elderly was an approved custom in several ancient societies.” With the rise of organized religion, euthanasia became morally and ethically abhorrent. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all hold human life sacred and condemn euthanasia in any form. Following traditional religious principles, Western laws have generally considered the act of helping someone to die a form of homicide subject to legal sanctions. “Even a passive withholding of help to prevent death has frequently been severely punished. Euthanasia, however, occurs secretly in all societies, including those in which it is held to be immoral and illegal.” There are two main types of euthanasia, passive and active. Passive euthanasia is the deliberate disconnection of life support equipment, or cessation of any life-sustaining medical procedure, permitting the natural death of the patient. Active euthanasia is deliberate action to end the life of a dying patient to avoid further suffering; there are two types of active euthanasia. Active voluntary euthanasia is when a lethal injection is giving by a doctor into a dying patient to end life by request of the sufferer. Active involuntary is lethal injection by a doctor into a dying patient without that person's express request. Active involuntary is considered murder by most. Since euthanasia is illegal in 49 of the 50 US states it would seem that most people are against it. There are some people who have formed organizations that help to educate people about euthanasia and that In fact euthanasia may be a good thing. One such organization is ERGO the Euthanasia Research & Guidance Organization a nonprofit educational corporation, which was founded in 1993 to improve the quality of background research of physician-as... ... middle of paper ... ...he end stage. Once these symptoms are alleviated the emotional pain becomes the focus and it takes great strength to watch a loved one die slowly day by day. I’ve seen families brought together and serve as a great comfort to each other and to the patients. Death to these people is not the enemy but a natural ending of life. I’ve also seen family’s fall apart, seemingly unable to hold up under such pressure. Are these the people who assist in another’s suicide? Is it a weak persons way out? It is done because of love or inability to cope? Only they know.” The writer of this paper feels that euthanasia should be accepted more then it is, but is not the answer. I think that most suffering can be deemed tolerable with proper medications. It seems that if the pain can be controlled with medication, that the person could pass on in a deep sleep and be comfortable. However there are other symptoms that accompany other illness that can not be changed by medication. Like Christopher Reeves no matter how much medication he is given he will never walk, ride a horse, or bath himself again. This kind of suffering I would find intolerable and would justify euthanasia. Footnotes

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