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Euthanasia is the deliberate killing of a person for the benefit of that person.

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Introduction

What is Euthanasia: Euthanasia is the deliberate killing of a person for the benefit of that person. In most cases euthanasia is carried out because the person who dies asks for it, but there are cases called euthanasia where a person can't make such a request. A person who undergoes euthanasia is usually terminally ill, but there are other situations in which some people want euthanasia. What is euthanasia? Euthanasia is the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit. Voluntary euthanasia is when the person who is killed has requested to be killed. Non-voluntary euthanasia is when the person who is killed made no request and gave no consent. Involuntary euthanasia is when the person who is killed made an expressed wish to the contrary. Assisted suicide is when someone provides an individual with the information, guidance, and means to take his or her own life with the intention that they will be used for this purpose. When it is a doctor who helps another person to kill himself it is called "Physician-assisted suicide". Euthanasia by action is intentionally causing a person's death by performing an action such as by giving a lethal injection. Euthanasia by omission is intentionally causing death by not providing necessary and ordinary (usual and customary) ...read more.

Middle

Almost three out of four doctors (74%) would refuse to perform assisted suicide if it were legalised. A clear majority (56%) also consider that it would be impossible to set safe bounds to euthanasia as compared to 37% who disagree. In addition there are marked differences in attitudes to hospice and geriatric care between doctors opposed to euthanasia and those who support such a policy. These facts emerge from a major survey completed by 986 doctors by the Opinion Research Business (ORB) over a two-week period - March 26-April 9, 2003. To ensure impartiality, ORB had the final decision on all questions. The survey was administered by the foremost medical internet company in the UK, Doctors.Net.UK, who contacted 9,000 doctors and medical specialists, including those in palliative care, oncology, psychiatry, geriatrics, general surgery and general practice. There was an 11% response which is typical for an Internet survey of this nature. The survey was commissioned by Right To Life and the initial results were launched at a press conference held by the All-Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group in the House of Commons on Tuesday, May 13. Chairman of the parliamentary group, Jim Dobbin MP (Labour - Heywood & Middleton) said: "We welcome these initial results. They are very much in keeping with a survey published in Hospital Doctor (13th March, 2003) ...read more.

Conclusion

Nonetheless, a substantial minority of doctors were concerned about possible pressures from families and colleagues if euthanasia and assisted suicide were legalised. Nearly half (47%) felt that if euthanasia and assisted suicide were made legal they would not be confident of being able to exercise their judgment without pressure from relatives. 29% were confident and 24% did not know. On the other hand over half of doctors (58%) were confident of being able to exercise their judgment free from beneficiaries. 29% were not confident and 12% did not know. A disturbing figure was that relating to pressure from colleagues. Overall 43% were not confident that they would be able to exercise their judgment free from pressure from medical and nursing colleagues. 28% were confident and a further 28% did not know. A majority of doctors (57%) felt that they could withstand pressures resulting from NHS resources. In comparison 28% were not confident and 15% did not know. Palliative care doctors showed the most concern on this issue. Although a majority of doctors were confident that they would be able to detect whether a request for assisted suicide was part of a depressive illness - 10% very confident and 53% quite confident - a substantial minority lacked such confidence. 30% said they were not very confident and 7% not at all confident. Not surprisingly, psychiatrists were the most confident (86%) as compared with 63% of general practitioners ...read more.

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