What is meant by euthanasia?

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Introduction

Lilian Kim Miss Finch English 9 Honors 28 May 2002 "Euthanasia" Euthanasia derives from the Greek for "good death," but in today's world, different people whose viewpoints are influenced by religion, other people, and morals, perceive euthanasia differently. The history of euthanasia dates back to the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. In those times, putting people to death was considered allowable in some situations. (Beauchamp, 1) For example in the ancient Greek city of Sparta, strength was the highest priority because Sparta was a military city-state. Therefore if weak, severely defected babies were born, they were put to death. In several ancient societies, voluntary euthanasia was acceptable for the elderly. As time went on, polytheism declined and began to fade away. In it's place, Christianity took over. Christians found euthanasia to be ethically and morally wrong, and also a violation of God's gift of life. Due to these new viewpoints, euthanasia became less and less common and was not practiced as much.

Middle

Opposite of this is Passive euthanasia. There are two totally different definitions of passive euthanasia. One is the act of removing medical treatment from the patient's request. This is done not to intentionally cause the death of that person, but to relieve that person of pain and/or suffering, which ultimately means death. The other definition of passive euthanasia is intentionally causing death by withholding or withdrawing necessary and customary care or food and water. (Euthanasia.com, 4) Some people think that euthanasia is right and there is not morally wrong with it. It is just one of the many practices done by doctors. In a survey concerning euthanasia there was a statement: Euthanasia should be legalized so doctors can follow specific guidelines and record each patient to ensure safety; sixty percent of the teens who took a survey agreed to this. They feel that it is the patient's choice whether to stop the pain and just end their life or live on.

Conclusion

(Kim, survey) [As shown on Graph two in the index.] They feel that people in suffering pain and severe terminal illness won't be able to make rational decisions, therefore they could choose to die but it could be just because they cannot bear the pain for that one moment and they really don't want to die. If in fact euthanasia does get legalized, problems will still arise from this sensitive topic because there are human feelings incorporated into it. In a few other countries euthanasia is legal. In the Netherlands two percent of all deaths each year are a result of euthanasia. In the northern territory of Australia was the first to legalize voluntary active euthanasia. But the federal parliament of Australia overturned the law in 1997. (Beauchamp, 5) There are different viewpoints for this touchy subject. Some people like Cassie Dean are very passionate about and all for this topic, while others are totally against it. This topic seems to never get any easier to deal with. But hopefully it will become easier to deal with as the time passes.

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