Free Euthanasia Essay

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Euthanasia The word "euthanasia" has a Greek origin and in it's original form

meant a good and honourable death, which would be pleasant and

painless. In medical terms it was taken to mean the kindness offered

to a person who was terminally ill by medical staff in order to lessen

their pain and suffering.

However, in recent times the term "euthanasia" has come to be used to

describe a gentle and easy death, for those who are incurably ill. It

is sometimes referred to as "mercy killing."

"Passive or negative euthanasia" involves not doing something to

prevent death-(i.e.), allowing someone to die. While "active or

positive euthanasia" involves making a decision and taking deliberate

action to cause a death in order to lessen suffering. In the case of

someone who is very ill the relatives may make this decision on behalf

of the person in question. Both of these acts are illegal under the

present law.

"Voluntary Euthanasia" is the act if terminating the life of somebody

painlessly on his or her request, or on the request of his or her

legal representative. Under the present law, voluntary euthanasia is

considered illegal.

However, a significant number of organisations are campaigning at

present for this law to be reconsidered. Organisations supporting the

legalisation of voluntary euthanasia were established in Britain in

1935 and in the United States in 1938. These organisations claim that

every human being should have the right to choose when and how they

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