Topics: Euthanasia, Medical ethics, Death Pages: 4 (1298 words) Published: January 17, 2013
* What’s Euthanasia?
* The Pro-Life Alliance defines it as: 'Any action or omission intended to end the life of a patient on the grounds that his or her life is not worth living.' * The Voluntary Euthanasia Society looks to the word's Greek origins - 'eu' and 'thanatos,' which together mean 'a good death' - and say a modern definition is: 'A good death brought about by a doctor providing drugs or an injection to bring a peaceful end to the dying process.' * Three classes of euthanasia can be identified -- passive euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide and active euthanasia -- although not all groups would acknowledge them as valid terms." * What is physician-assisted suicide/physician aid in dying? * It is descriptively accurate and carries with it no misleading connotations. * Other contributors to this volume prefer the synonymous term physician-assisted suicide because it is technically accurate, and still others prefer physician aid in dying because it is relatively neutral. * Although suicide can be considered heroic or rational depending on setting and philosophical orientation, in much American writing it is conflated with mental illness, and the term suggests the tragic self-destruction of a person who is not thinking clearly or acting rationally. Pros:

* Everyone has the right to die
* The right of a competent, terminally ill person to avoid excruciating pain and embrace a timely and dignified death bears the sanction of history and is implicit in the concept of ordered liberty. * The exercise of this right is as central to personal autonomy and bodily integrity as rights safeguarded by this Court's decisions relating to marriage, family relationships, procreation, contraception, child rearing and the refusal or termination of life-saving medical treatment. * In particular, this Court's recent decisions concerning the right to refuse medical treatment and...
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