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What is meant by euthanasia?

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Introduction

What is meant by euthanasia? The word euthanasia comes from the Greek "eu" and "thanatos" and means "a good death". Nowadays it means the bringing about a quick and not painful death especially when terminally ill it is also known as mercy killing. There are six types of euthanasia: 1. Active euthanasia: this is the direct intervention of a doctor to end someone's life. This may be done in many different ways. The patient can be injected with a lethal substance, suffocated; given an overdose of drugs are the most common methods. 2. Passive euthanasia: this is withdrawing or withholding the use of the medication or life supporting machine in order to speed up their death. 3. Voluntary euthanasia: this is when it is the patient himself who requests to have euthanasia performed. 4. Involuntary euthanasia: this is ending someone's life without their permission this is known as murder. 5. Non-voluntary euthanasia: this ending the life of someone who can't give their permission (e.g. is in a coma) in their best interest. It is sometimes hard to know if it is in the patient's best interest or in the family's interest (money). 6. Doctor assisted suicide: this is very close to voluntary euthanasia but in this case the doctor gives the facilities to the patient who chooses when to do it and whether they really want to do it or not. Some doctors have machines to assist euthanasia. They prepare the machines and insert the needle in the patient's vein and the patient then only has to press a button to allow the drugs to flow through his blood stream. Living wills The law allows patients to make their own decisions about health care. Living wills are an attempt to put into practice this with respect to refusal of certain medical treatments (e.g. resuscitation) if some sort of state of incompetence shows (e.g. coma, heavy sedation, persistent vegetative state).Difficult medical decisions may have to be taken when the patient is unable to communicate. ...read more.

Middle

It is considered a gift of God: "...believers see in life something greater, namely, a gift of God's love, which they are called upon to preserve and make fruitful."(Sacred congregation for the doctrine of the Faith, May5, 1980).Catholics would agree that if God gave us life as a sign of love and as a gift, we shouldn't take it away because it would be like rejecting God. So following this, it is equally wrong to take someone's life away as it is to take your own life, both cases are considered as murder and it is wrong. In a case of terminal illness what a person needs, besides medical care is love, (from humans and from God) with which a human person should be surrounded by all those close to him/her (i.e. parents, children, friends, nurses.) The golden rule "treat others as you would like them to treat you" (Mathew 7:12) could be applied to this. Everyone would like to be loved and taken care of during the last moments of our lives, so we should do the same to the people that are suffering. That is what hospices are for. The Hospice Movement. The modern hospice movement was started by a British, Christian doctor Cicely Saunders in the late 1940s. She spent more than ten years trying to open St. Christopher's hospice in London, in 1967 as a teaching and research facility dedicated to the physical, emotional and spiritual care of the dying. Hospice spread across the U.S. and other countries and with it the painkilling medicine. In the hospices, people are helped to die with dignity and no suffering. As Cicely Saunders said: "The greatest fear of the dying and their families is the fear of pain." The aim of the hospices is to get rid of the fear of pain and loneliness which is what drives people to ask to be euthanased. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also if euthanasia was legal families that wanted money could put pressure on their relative to be euthanased. These are the main arguments for and against euthanasia, they are not necessarily related to Christianity but they are the points that people would use to argue their views on euthanasia. I personally disagree with euthanasia and I think it can never be justified. I think it is against all moral beliefs and the loss of human dignity. It is an act of selfishness and cowardice. Nowadays there are drugs that would relieve most of the pain, and even if you still have to go through some pain it is better than ending life to avoid it. People that believe they are a burden to their families should ask to be put into a hospice where they could be looked after and kept company. I agree with the doctor I quoted earlier on, I think that just because an injection is clean and silent it doesn't have to be less wrong than a bullet or a knife. Also, it is allowed in some cases to disconnect the life supporting machines or withhold medication so in the end your life could also be ended in a morally acceptable way that would at the same time shorten the pain. I understand that people might feel unwanted by their families and society but and feel like a burden. But does that mean that if anyone ever feels unwanted they can just end their life? I think it is an ungrateful way of taking life, God gives it to us and as soon as something goes slightly wrong we shouldn't throw it away. I agree that we can't make people have faith in something that they don't believe in, that by: Gabriela Lezama Leguizamon Contents: What is meant by euthanasia?.......................................page 1 - 3 Bible teachings on euthanasia.................................page 3 - 4 How do Christians respond to euthanasia?................page 4 - 6 Can euthanasia ever be justified?.................................. ...read more.

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