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Life Science

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Definition:- Greek: meaning "good death"- The practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering with the help of another individual (usually a physician)- First time the term was used in medica context was by Francis Bacon in 17th century, referring to "an easy, painess, happy death" and referencing that it was a physician's responsibility to alleviate physical suffering of the body.

Painless Inducement of a Quick Death

Types of Euthanasia:

Voluntary: when a clearly competent person has directly requested and consented to being killedNon-voluntary: when the person who is killed made no request and gave no consent. Involuntary: when the person who is killed made and expressed wish to the contrary. Considered an act of murder.Active Euthanasia: intentionally causing a person's death by performing an action such as by giving a lethal injectionPassive Euthanasia: intentionally causing death by withholding or withdrawing necessary treatment to maintain life

Pros:- Freedom of choice- Provides a way to relieve extreme and unbearable pain- Provides relief from a low quality of life- People should not be forced to stay alive- Individual right to committ suicide- Death is a private matter and the state or the country should have no right to interfere- Frees up medical funds and resources to help other people

Cons:- Devalues human life- Religion: life is given by God and only God should decide when to end it- Individuals suffering from chronic conditions have an impaired capacity to make decisions- Can become a means of health care cost containment- Physicians should not be directly involved in causing death - " I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel" - Hippocratic Oath- "Slippery Slope": effect has occurred where euthanasia has been first legalized for only terminally ill and later laws changed to allow it for other people or to be done non-voluntarily.

Legal?Voluntary Euthanasia is legal in Belgium, Lexembourg and the Netherlands.* Must be a direct and voluntary request by the individual of sufficient mental capacity.Physician Assisted Suicide is legal in Switzerland and the U.S. States of Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont.

Ethical, Legal, Religious Issues Involved

ReferencesBoudreau, J. D., & Somerville, M. A. (2014). Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: a physician's and ethicist's perspectives. Medicolegal & Bioethics, 41(12), 44-52. doi:10.2147/MB.S59303Chambaere, K., Vander Stichele, R., Mortier, F., Cohen, J., & Deliens, L. (2015). Recent trends in Euthanasia and other end-of-life practices in Belgium. The New England Journal Of Medicine, 372(12), 1179-1181. doi:10.1056/NEJMc1414527Collier, R. (2015). Euthanasia: discussion before decision. CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association, 187(1), 21-28. doi:10.1503/cmaj.109-4945Hain, R. W. (2014). Euthanasia: 10 Myths. Archives Of Disease In Childhood, 99(9), 798-799. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2014-306218


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