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What is meant by euthanasia?
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The term Euthanasia has become well known throughout the country. The word is derived from ancient Greek eu thantos, meaning "easy death." Today, euthanasia is referred to as mercy killing. There is much controversy over whether or not the practice is just. Euthanasia raises many religious, medical, and ethical issues. Euthanasia can either be active or passive. Active euthanasia occurs when a physician or other medical personnel induces death. An overdose is administered to the patients in the form of insulin, barbiturates, or morphine, and then followed by an injection of curare. Passive euthanasia, on the other hand, is allowing the patient to die due to lack of treatment. This includes taking the patient off their support system, or respirator. Passive euthanasia also includes stopping the food supply intravenously to comatose patients (Compton's, 1). Debate has flourished against those who accept passive euthanasia, but reject active. Questions are asked why one form is accepted and not the other. The distinction that is made between the two of them is that active is murder, while passive is merciful. Turning off support systems is a positive act of death (Singer, 76). In the Encyclopedia of Bio-ethics, some religious views of euthanasia were given.
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