Thursday, January 19, 2006

Definitions of 'euthanasia'

With so much talk about 'euthanasia' these days after the Terri Schiavo affair (March 2005), and the affirming decision of the US Supreme Court (January 2006) in the Oregon physician-assisted suicide case, it seems time -- in the interests of mutual understanding -- to define the principal words being used. Thus.............

ASSISTED SUICIDE: Helping a person to end his or her life by request in order to end suffering.. (Rarely prosecuted and only lawful in Switzerland where the reasons must be altruistic.)

PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE: Medical doctor helping patient to die by prescribing a lethal overdose. Patient can chose whether to drink it. (Lawful only in Oregon, Switzerland, Netherlands and Belgium.)

EUTHANASIA: A broad, generic term meaning 'help with a good death.'

VOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA: Death by lethal injection by doctor when requested by patient. (Only lawful in Belgium and the Netherlands for the terminally or hopelessly ill.)

NON-VOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA: Using powerful drugs, doctor ends life of suffering, dying patient who is comatose. Illegal, but happens all the time, discreetly, in the interest of compassion.

TERMINAL SEDATION: Upon patient request, doctor puts patient into deep sleep with medications, during which time the patient dies either of the underlying illness or starvation/dehydration. Widely practiced and generally accepted as ethical and lawful.

MERCY KILLING: Taking the life of another person in the belief that this is a compassionate act because the ill person is unable to do so. Unlawful.

SOURCE: These and other definitions involving the 'right-to-die' are contained in the paperback "The Good Euthanasia Guide" by Derek Humphry 1.19.06

Derek Humphry


Blogger Anonymous said...

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6:50 PM, April 02, 2014  
Blogger Jessica Day said...

This is absurd. Is it really dignified to make it so easy to choose to die? Euthanasia is not a positive thing anymore. Here it is treated as a sort of lifesaver but that is simply not the case. Actually, the opposite is true. No one lives through Euthanasia. What a crazy idea, that life and death should be merely "allowed." To say that is to say that we are the creators of our own existence and eventual fate. We would then make ourselves our own gods and now it is becoming legal to murder ourselves and others for the sake of a supposed "good death". It is intentional killing. It is murder.

6:55 PM, April 02, 2014  

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