Essay on Should Euthanasia be legalised in Australia?

Essay on Should Euthanasia be legalised in Australia?

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The term Euthanasia is derived from the Greek roots, taking the words ‘eu’, meaning good or well, and ‘thanatos’, meaning death, to create the term “good death ”. (Definition of Euthanasia . 2011) The term ‘Euthanasia’ is not defined specifically within Australian Legislation, however the generalised definition states that Euthanasia is intentionally taking another person’s life by the means of a direct action or depriving a person of the medical care needed to preserve life. (Euthanasia: What Does It Really Mean? Date Unknown). Linda Jackson (2005) continues to add that Euthanasia can then be further separated into four specified categories: Passive voluntary euthanasia, active voluntary euthanasia, passive involuntary euthanasia and active involuntary euthanasia. Voluntary Euthanasia will be the specified area that will be focused on within this assignment.

Passive voluntary euthanasia, as defined by the research paper, Euthanasia – the Australian Law in an International Context, 1997, is “when medical treatment is withdraw or withheld from a patient at the patient’s request, in order to end the patient’s life”. Active voluntary euthanasia however, is when a patient requests to terminate their life, through the means of medical intervention. Voluntary active euthanasia has had a significant history within Australian laws, with the Northern Territory as the first state to pass legislation on the subject. According to the Bills Digest 45, The Rights of the Terminally Ill Act 1995 was passed on the 25th of May, 1995 and eventually came into operation on the 1st of July, 1996. Within the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act 1995, it allowed a terminally ill patient to gain the assistance of a doctor or other qualified physician to e...


... middle of paper ...


...tely be affected by this new “right to die”.

Euthanasia is an issue so interwoven within human rights and ethics that it cannot be ignored and must be addressed with Australian society. As the Euthanasia debate consists of many different arguments and stakeholders, one issue cannot be addressed and evaluated without consulting the “bigger picture”. Evidently, if Euthanasia became legal throughout Australia, there would be many implications that would follow. Firstly, religious parties would not agree with the decision that has been made, and would possibly rally and protest against those hospitals and health care centres that acted upon euthanasia laws.

In association to this, those medical physicians granted the responsibility to act upon these potential laws will have to regain the trust between themselves and the patient and also the patient’s family.


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