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What is meant by euthanasia?

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Introduction

The word "euthanasia" has a Greek origin and in it's original form meant a good and honourable death, which would be pleasant and painless. In medical terms it was taken to mean the kindness offered to a person who was terminally ill by medical staff in order to lessen their pain and suffering. However, in recent times the term "euthanasia" has come to be used to describe a gentle and easy death, for those who are incurably ill. It is sometimes referred to as "mercy killing." "Passive or negative euthanasia" involves not doing something to prevent death-(i.e.), allowing someone to die. While "active or positive euthanasia" involves making a decision and taking deliberate action to cause a death in order to lessen suffering. ...read more.

Middle

They have gained some public support, but have so far been unable to achieve their goal in either nation. In the past few decades, Western laws against passive and voluntary euthanasia have slowly been eased, although serious moral and legal questions still exist. I myself disagree with the legalisation of euthanasia. Although I recognise that some people feel they have the right to decide how and when they die, I personally feel that life is a precious gift from God and only he has the right to take it away. This aside there are also many practical arguments against the legalisation of euthanasia. In the Netherlands voluntary euthanasia has been legalised through a democratic vote within the country. ...read more.

Conclusion

This instance of abuse of the power of life and death has long served as a warning to some against allowing the practice of euthanasia. Other arguments against the legalisation of euthanasia include that many drugs such as morphine control pain and in effect reduce suffering. Also as the disease progresses a patient may decide against euthanasia but be unable to express themselves because of the effects of their illness. Also many people often recover after being "written off" by their doctors. Another danger of legalising euthanasia is that elderly people may feel they are a burden to society and opt for euthanasia, when in their hearts they want to continue living. In conclusion I would like to stress that euthanasia devalues human life, making it disposable. I fear that if euthanasia is legalised that it could be first step on a slippery slope. 1 "Euthanasia" ...read more.

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