Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide: the illusion of safeguards and controls


euthanasia article

Article Euthanasia – A dignified end of life! Vaibhav Goel Faculty of Law Addis Ababa University Addis Ababa Ethiopia. E-mail: [email protected] Accepted 27, October Survival is undoubtedly valuable but some time and in certain condition life becomes painful and. The laws regulating euthanasia must of course be flexible, and requirements based on present knowledge may be changed in the future. Another objection to euthanasia stems from the possibility of. Oct 25,  · We have a right to die with dignity. The medical profession has a duty to assist Euthanasia represents one of the oldest issues in medical ethics. I will limit myself in this article to Author: Anton Van Niekerk.

euthanasia | Definition, History, & Facts |

Note: Varies by jurisdiction. Different countries have different euthanasia laws. The British House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics defines euthanasia as "a deliberate intervention undertaken euthanasia article the express intention of ending a life, euthanasia article, to relieve intractable suffering", euthanasia article.

Euthanasia is categorized [ by whom? As of [update] euthanasia had become the most active area of research in bioethics. Passive euthanasia known as "pulling the plug" is legal under some circumstances in many countries, euthanasia article. Active euthanasia, however, is legal or de facto legal in only a handful of countries for example: Belgium, Canada and Switzerlandwhich limit it to specific circumstances and require the approval of counselors and doctors or other specialists.

In some countries - euthanasia article as Nigeria, euthanasia article, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan - support for active euthanasia euthanasia article almost non-existent. Like other terms borrowed from history, "euthanasia" has had different meanings depending on usage, euthanasia article.

The first apparent euthanasia article of the term "euthanasia" belongs to the historian Suetoniuswho described how the Emperor Augustus"dying quickly and without suffering in the arms of his wife, Livia, euthanasia article, experienced the 'euthanasia' he had wished for. In current usage, euthanasia has been defined as the "painless inducement of a quick death". In particular, these include situations where a person kills another, painlessly, euthanasia article, but for no reason beyond that of personal gain; or accidental deaths that are quick and painless, euthanasia article, but not intentional.

Another approach incorporates the notion of suffering into the definition. The third element incorporated into many definitions is that of intentionality — the death must be intended, euthanasia article, rather than being accidental, and the intent of the action must be a "merciful death".

A kills another person B for the benefit of the second person, who actually does benefit from being killed". Draper argued that any definition of euthanasia must incorporate four elements: an agent and a subject; an intention; a causal proximity, such that the actions of the agent lead to the outcome; and an outcome. Based on this, she offered a definition incorporating those elements, stating that euthanasia "must be defined as death that results from the intention of one person to kill another person, using the most gentle and painless means possible, that is motivated solely by the best interests of the person who dies.

Their definition specifically discounts fetuses to distinguish between abortions and euthanasia: [18]. In summary, we have argued Person A committed an act of euthanasia if and only if 1 A killed B or let her die; 2 A intended to kill B; 3 the intention specified in 2 was at least partial cause of the action specified in 1 ; 4 the causal journey from the intention euthanasia article in 2 to the action specified in 1 is more or less in accordance with A's plan of action; 5 A's killing of B is a voluntary action; 6 the motive for the action specified in 1the motive standing behind the intention specified in 2is the good of the person killed.

Wreen also considered a seventh requirement: " 7 The good specified in 6 is, or at least includes, the avoidance of evil", although as Wreen noted in the paper, he was not convinced that the restriction was required.

In discussing his definition, Wreen noted the difficulty of justifying euthanasia when faced with the euthanasia article of the subject's " right to life ". Euthanasia article response, Wreen argued that euthanasia has to be voluntary, and that "involuntary euthanasia is, as such, a great wrong".

For example, in a discussion of euthanasia presented in by the European Association of Palliative Care EPAC Ethics Task Force, the authors euthanasia article "Medicalized killing of a person without the person's consent, whether nonvoluntary where the person is unable to consent or involuntary against the person's will is not euthanasia: it is murder, euthanasia article.

Hence, euthanasia can be voluntary only. Euthanasia may be classified into three types, according to whether a person gives informed consent : voluntary, non-voluntary and involuntary. There is a debate within the medical and bioethics literature about whether or not the non-voluntary and by extension, involuntary killing of patients can be regarded as euthanasia, irrespective of intent or the patient's circumstances.

In the definitions offered by Beauchamp and Davidson and, later, by Wreen, consent on the part of the patient was not considered as one of their criteria, although it may have been required to justify euthanasia, euthanasia article. Voluntary euthanasia is conducted with the consent of the patient.

Active voluntary euthanasia is legal in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Passive voluntary euthanasia is legal throughout the US per Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health. When the patient brings about his or her own death with the assistance of a physician, the term assisted suicide is often used instead.

Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland and the U. Non-voluntary euthanasia is conducted when the consent of the patient is unavailable. Examples include child euthanasiawhich is illegal worldwide but decriminalised under certain specific circumstances in the Netherlands under the Groningen Protocol.

Involuntary euthanasia is conducted against the will of the patient. Voluntary, non-voluntary and involuntary types can be further divided into passive or active variants, euthanasia article. While some authors consider these terms to be misleading and unhelpful, they are nonetheless commonly used. In some cases, such as the administration of increasingly necessary, but toxic doses of painkillersthere is a debate whether or not to regard the euthanasia article as active or passive.

Euthanasia was practiced in Ancient Greece and Rome : for example, hemlock was employed as a means of hastening death on the island of Keaa technique also employed in Marseilles. Euthanasia, euthanasia article, in the sense of the deliberate hastening of a person's death, was supported by SocratesPlato and Seneca the Elder in the ancient world, although Hippocrates appears to have spoken against the practiceeuthanasia article "I will not prescribe euthanasia article deadly drug to please someone, nor give advice that may cause his death" noting there is some debate in the literature about whether or not this was intended to encompass euthanasia.

The term euthanasia in the earlier sense of supporting someone as they died, was used for the first time by Francis Bacon. In his work, Euthanasia medicahe chose this ancient Greek word and, in doing so, distinguished between euthanasia interiorthe preparation of the soul for death, and euthanasia exteriorwhich was intended to make the end of life easier and painless, in exceptional circumstances by shortening life. That the ancient meaning of an easy death came to the fore again in the early modern period can be seen from its definition in the 18th century Zedlers Universallexikon :.

Euthanasia: a very gentle and quiet death, which happens without painful convulsions. The concept of euthanasia in the sense of alleviating the process of death goes back to the medical historian, Karl Friedrich Heinrich Marxwho drew on Bacon's philosophical ideas. According to Marx, a doctor had a moral duty to ease the suffering of death through encouragement, support and mitigation using medication.

Such an "alleviation of death" reflected the contemporary zeitgeistbut was brought into the medical canon of responsibility for the first time by Marx. Marx also stressed the distinction between the theological care of the soul of sick people from the physical care and medical treatment by doctors, euthanasia article.

Euthanasia in its modern sense has always been strongly opposed in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Thomas Aquinas opposed both and argued that the practice of euthanasia contradicted our natural human instincts of survival, [33] as did Francois Ranchin —a French physician and professor of medicine, and Michael Boudewijns —a physician and teacher, euthanasia article. Inthe publication of Caspar Questel's De pulvinari morientibus non-subtrahend" On the euthanasia article of which the dying should not be deprived "initiated debate on the topic.

Questel described various customs which were employed euthanasia article the time to hasten the death of the dying, including the sudden removal of a pillow, which was believed to accelerate deatheuthanasia article, and argued against their use, as doing so was "against the laws of God and Nature", euthanasia article.

Suicide and euthanasia became more accepted during the Age of Euthanasia article. In the mids, the use of morphine to treat "the pains of death" emerged, with Euthanasia article Warren recommending its use in A similar use of chloroform was revealed by Joseph Bullar euthanasia article However, in neither case was it recommended that the use should be to hasten death, euthanasia article.

In Samuel Williams, a schoolteacher, initiated the contemporary euthanasia debate through a speech given at the Birmingham Speculative Club in England, which was subsequently published in a one-off publication entitled Essays of the Birmingham Speculative Clubthe collected works of a number of members of an amateur philosophical society.

That in all cases of hopeless and painful illness, it should be the recognized duty of the medical attendant, whenever so desired by the patient, to administer chloroform or such other anaesthetic as may by-and-bye supersede chloroform — so as to destroy consciousness at once, and put the sufferer to a quick and painless death; all needful precautions being adopted to prevent any possible abuse of such duty; and means being taken to establish, beyond the possibility of doubt or question, that the remedy was applied at the express wish of the patient.

The essay was favourably reviewed in The Saturday Reviewbut an editorial against the essay appeared in The Spectator. The rise of the euthanasia movement in the United States coincided with the so-called Gilded Agea time of social and technological change that encompassed an "individualistic conservatism that praised laissez-faire economics, scientific methodand rationalism ", along with major depressionsindustrialisation and conflict between corporations and labour unions.

Robert Ingersoll argued for euthanasia, stating in that where someone is suffering from a terminal illness, such as terminal cancer, they should have a right to end their pain through suicide, euthanasia article. Felix Adler offered a similar approach, although, unlike Ingersoll, Adler did not reject religion.

In fact, he argued from an Ethical Culture framework. InAdler argued that those suffering from overwhelming pain should have the right to commit suicide, and, furthermore, that it should be permissible for a doctor to assist — thus making Adler the first "prominent American" to argue for suicide in cases where people were suffering from chronic illness. The first attempt to legalise euthanasia took place in the United States, when Henry Hunt introduced legislation into the General Assembly of Ohio in Halla wealthy heiress who was a major figure in the euthanasia movement during the early 20th century in the United States.

Hall had watched her mother die after an extended battle with liver cancerand had dedicated herself to ensuring that others would not have to endure the same suffering. Towards this end she engaged in an extensive letter writing campaign, recruited Lurana Sheldon and Maud Ballington Boothand organised a debate on euthanasia at euthanasia article annual meeting of the American Humane Association in — described by Jacob Appel as the first significant public debate on the topic in the 20th century.

Hunt's bill called for the administration of an anesthetic to bring about a patient's death, so long as the person is of lawful age and sound mind, euthanasia article, and was suffering from a fatal injury, an irrevocable illness, euthanasia article, or great physical pain. It also required that the case be heard by a physician, euthanasia article, required informed consent in front of three witnesses, and required the attendance of three physicians who had to agree that the patient's recovery was impossible, euthanasia article.

A motion to reject the bill outright was voted down, euthanasia article, but the bill failed to pass, 79 to Along with the Ohio euthanasia proposal, euthanasia article, in Assemblyman Ross Gregory introduced a proposal to permit euthanasia to the Iowa legislature. However, the Iowa legislation was broader in scope than that offered in Ohio. It allowed for the death of any person of at least ten years of age who suffered from an ailment that would prove fatal and cause extreme pain, should they be of sound mind and express a desire to artificially hasten their death.

In addition, it allowed for infants to be euthanised if they were sufficiently deformed, and permitted guardians to request euthanasia on behalf of their wards. The proposal proved to be controversial. After the euthanasia debate reduced in intensity, resurfacing periodically, euthanasia article, but not returning to the same level of debate until the s in the United Kingdom, euthanasia article. Euthanasia opponent Ian Dowbiggin argues that the early membership of the Euthanasia Society of America ESA reflected how many perceived euthanasia at the time, often seeing it as a eugenics matter rather than an issue concerning individual rights.

The movement campaigned for the legalisation of euthanasia in Great Britain. In JanuaryKing George V was given a fatal dose of morphine and cocaine to hasten his death. At the time he was suffering from cardio-respiratory failure, euthanasia article, and the decision to end his life was made by his physician, Lord Dawson. The "euthanasia campaign" of mass murder gathered momentum on 14 January when the "handicapped" were killed with gas vans and killing euthanasia article, eventually leading to the deaths of 70, adult Germans, euthanasia article.

Lifton writes:. Jost argued that control over the death of the individual must ultimately belong to the social organism, the state. This concept is in direct opposition to the Anglo-American concept of euthanasia, which emphasizes the individual's 'right to die' or 'right to death' or 'right to his euthanasia article her own death,' as the ultimate human claim, euthanasia article. In contrast, Jost was pointing to the state's right to kill. Ultimately the argument was biological: 'The rights to death [are] the key to the fitness of life.

In modern terms, the use of "euthanasia" in the context of Action T4 is euthanasia article to be a euphemism to disguise a program of genocideeuthanasia article which people were killed on the grounds of "disabilities, religious beliefs, and euthanasia article individual values".

On 6 Januarythe Euthanasia Society of America presented to the New York State Legislature a petition to legalize euthanasia, signed by leading Protestant and Jewish ministers, euthanasia article, the largest group of religious leaders ever to have taken this stance. A similar petition had been sent to the New York Legislature insigned by approximately 1, New York physicians. Roman Catholic religious leaders criticized the petition, saying that such a bill would "legalize a suicide-murder pact" and a "rationalization of the fifth commandment of God, 'Thou Shalt Not Kill.

McCormick stated that. The ultimate object of the Euthanasia Society is based on the Totalitarian principle that the state is supreme and that the individual does not have the right to live if euthanasia article continuance in life is a burden or hindrance to the state, euthanasia article. The Nazis followed this principle and compulsory Euthanasia was practiced as a part of their program during the recent war, euthanasia article.

The petition brought tensions between the American Euthanasia Society and the Catholic Church to a head that contributed to a climate of anti-Catholic sentiment generally, regarding issues such as birth control, eugenics, and population control. However, the petition did not result in any legal changes. Historically, the euthanasia debate has tended to focus on a number of key concerns.


We have a right to die with dignity. The medical profession has a duty to assist


euthanasia article


Article Euthanasia – A dignified end of life! Vaibhav Goel Faculty of Law Addis Ababa University Addis Ababa Ethiopia. E-mail: [email protected] Accepted 27, October Survival is undoubtedly valuable but some time and in certain condition life becomes painful and. Euthanasia, act or practice of painlessly putting to death persons suffering from painful and incurable disease or incapacitating physical disorder or allowing them to die by withholding treatment or withdrawing artificial life-support measures. Learn more about euthanasia in this article. Euthanasia or assisted suicide—and sometimes both—have been legalized in a small number of countries and states. In all jurisdictions, laws and safeguards were put in place to prevent abuse and misuse of these practices. Prevention measures have included, among others, explicit consent by the Cited by: