What is Euthanasia?

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

A i) What is Euthanasia? The word 'euthanasia' comes from two Greek words whose accurate meaning is "well death". It causes a death to take place because someone suffers from an excruciating and untreatable disease or injury. They would rather die and have the pain stop than continue living with a pain that is incurable. It is also understood as causing or bringing about a person's death painlessly, usually because the person is suffering greatly, fatally or permanently ill or brutally psychologically or physically immobilized. It means doing something with the intention of causing death, the intention being the most vital aspect. There are two kinds of euthanasia; voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary euthanasia is when someone asks to die before or during illness. There are 2 types of voluntary euthanasia; active and passive. Voluntary active euthanasia causes the most debate out of all areas of euthanasia. It is when "mercy killing" is involved. This is when someone asks for immediate death. Being put to death through an injection is an example of this. Voluntary passive euthanasia is the type that many Christians allow. It means not taking prolonged or vigorous action to preserve life.

Middle

Many Christians do think this belief is unkind and ineffective. None of the religious arguments brought up in discussions that are against euthanasia are applicable to those who do not share those beliefs. Regardless of these teachings, many of those who are religious do not oppose voluntary euthanasia. In effect, many of those who support euthanasia do so because of their religious attitude. To them, assisting a person to die can be a term of Christian consideration and the love, 'Agape', and support that Christians present to those in need. B The Hospice Movement represents one Christian response to the problem of pain and suffering. Explain how a Hospice works and what it seeks to achieve. A hospice is a place where individuals who have life-threatening illness are taken care of until they pass away. The hospice movement specialises in pain control and the plan of the hospice movement is to give people with excruciating and fatal diseases the best promising quality of life. A hospice doctor once said the following; "Hospices are places where people come to live, not to die" Many hospices have a Christian philosophy of life.

Conclusion

Some countries find themselves having a shortage of health resources, this means some people who are ill and can be treated are not because they cannot get immediate access to the services they need for treatment. Another problem is while this is happening, health resources are being used on people who cannot be cured and who would rather not continue living for their own reasons. Abuse of this would be disallowed by only permitting the individual who wanted to die to initiate the procedure, and by policy that thoroughly prohibited mistreatment. On the other hand, people who are against euthanasia can argue that the above proposal is a completely practical but many people especially those who are against euthanasia will not be convinced by it. In the end it could lead to involuntary euthanasia because of shortage of health resources. This could also lead to people thinking they should carry out euthanasia because they have become a difficult burden on society. A final argument that people in favour of euthanasia may raise is that each person has the right to control his or her body and life. This means they should be able to decide at what time, in what method and by whose hand he or she will die.

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