Legality of Euthanasia

Euthanasian laws is not an interest to the public unless they are passionate to read into it. The younger demographic may not see euthanasia as a social issue because this does not relate to them. But there are many patients seeking euthanasia to be legal so they can relieve their pain.

Euthanasia out of 196 countries, human euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia, and Luxembourg. Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Canada, and in the US states of Washington, Oregon, Vermont, Montana, and California. Some of the laws vary from country to country and majority of the world’s legality of euthanasian laws are unknown.

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Euthanasian laws within Australia is illegal, except the Northern Territory. We can see from the current news reports on the Belgium laws of euthanasia that their laws have extended to minors. People claim that Belgium’s laws are most lenient towards euthanasia, but there are many requirements to euthanizing a patient. In the case of a minor, a psychologist must conclude the patient’s maturity to make the decision. In many countries, within the law, two doctors are to decide whether a patient is enabled to be euthanized.


The country that caught my eye was Japan, they are an advanced nation and the Japanese government has no official laws on euthanasia, but their laws were decided by two local courts in 1962 and 1995. Although their laws were not government official laws, they have conditions that must be met in order to continue with euthanasia.

In the case of passive euthanasia, three conditions must be met:

1.The patient must be suffering from an incurable disease and in the final stages, unlikely to make a recovery
2.The patient must give express consent to stopping treatment, and this consent must be obtained and preserved prior to death. Their consent may be determined from a pre-written document such as a living will or the testimony of the family
3.The patient may be passively euthanized by stopping medical treatment, chemotherapy, dialysis, artificial respiration, blood transfusion, IV drip, etc.

For active euthanasia, four conditions must be met:

1.The patient must be suffering from unbearable physical pain
2.Death must be inevitable and drawing near
3.The patient must give consent
4.The physician must have exhausted all other measures of pain relief.

The conditions that Japanese government has set as requirements, I found rational and agree with the conditions from a personal point of view. The Australian laws maybe not need to adopt the exact requirements as the other countries but should have some conditions set to give some patients the choice to die with dignity. Ending a life is a serious option, but implementing similar requirements as the Japanese may open a window for those who seek euthanasia or assisted suicide.


Read more

The Richest, 2014, ’10 Countries Where Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide are Legal’



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