Essay About Euthanasia

1172 Words5 Pages
INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Today, the topic euthanasia is facing a lot ethical issues; even the mention of the word euthanasia will most likely draw reactions from most people, like abortion, capital punishment, and other issues related to the beginning or end of human life. Although it is often assumed that the modern-day perspective of euthanasia differ from those throughout history, it would seem that the concept of euthanasia has always been the subject of debate (McDougall and Gorman, 2008). The New Oxford Dictionary of English defines ‘euthanasia’ as ‘the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma’. ‘Euthanasia’ comes from two Greek words, ‘eu-’, a prefix meaning ‘good’ or ‘well’, and ‘thanatos’, meaning ‘death’. Literally speaking, when someone undergoes euthanasia, their death is good. Normally, for death to be good, living would need to be worse than death (Lacewing, n.d). There are six types of euthanasia, namely: involuntary, non-voluntary and voluntary, these types of euthanasia can either be passive or active euthanasia. The differences
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However, this interchanging use of these terms is strictly not appropriate. While it is acknowledged that there may be no morally significant difference between assisted suicide and voluntary, active euthanasia, there is nevertheless a qualitative difference between them. According to Brock (1993), with assisted suicide, a qualified medical practitioner supplies the patient with means for taking his own life, unlike in the case of voluntary active euthanasia; it is the patient and not the doctor, who acts last. To put it simply, in the case of voluntary, active euthanasia it is the qualified medical practitioner who kills the patient, whereas in the case of assisted suicide it is the patient who kills his or her self (Johnstone,
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