What is Euthanasia?

“Easy death.” Derived from the Greek work euthanatos.

Euthanasia essentially means to end an individual’s life, usually someone very sick or suffering from an incurable disease.  Euthanasia can also be known as assisted suicide, physician-assisted suicide (dying), doctor-assisted dying (suicide), and mercy killing (Nordqvist, 2016).


There are two main classifications of euthanasia:

Voluntary euthanasia – euthanasia conducted with consent.

Involuntary euthanasia – euthanasia is conducted without consent. The decision is usually made by another person because the patient is incapable of doing so himself/herself.

There are two procedural classifications of euthanasia:

Passive euthanasia – this is when life-sustaining treatments are withheld. The definition of passive euthanasia is often not clear, but many do claim that the term is wrong, because euthanasia has not taken place, because there is no intention to take life.

Active euthanasia – lethal substances or forces are used to end the patient’s life. Active euthanasia includes life-ending actions conducted by the patient or somebody else.

Assisted suicide has several different interpretations. It is most widely used and considered to “the intentional hastening of death by a terminally ill patient with assistance from a doctor, relative, or another person.”

To the eyes of some, euthanasia may be seen as an unethical issue as it is basically legally allowing some to ‘suicide’. Life is precious and we all should value our lives. Some may fall under pressure and consider taking their own life. But although they are suffering from society’s pressure or psychological illness, they still have a chance to live and get help.

Patients reaching out to legally seek euthanasia are driven to the end of the line, they know themselves that the incurable disease that they are suffering for many years will be the cause of their death. Choice to die supports voluntary euthanasia, where patients are given a chance for their choices to be respected. It is hard for anyone to strongly set themselves for suicide, but when life is harder living and patients see no worth in living life enduring the treatments from their illness.

Their choices should be respected.



Nordqvist. C., 2016, ‘Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide’, Medial News Today, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/182951.php Accessed 08/09/16



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