Euthanasia Expository Essay

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Euthanasia is a controversial area of dispute and important in modern societies. The euthanasia debate is a topic with many areas of issues, specifically a heavy social, moral and ethical issue with an underlying premise of religion and politics. The debate itself is mainly based on a two-sided argument, which categorizes euthanasia as either voluntary suicide, or as involuntary murder. The nature of the death itself is an area of large, controversial debate. Over the recent years euthanasia has gained political attention and is beginning to be addressed by legislation as traumatic cases are forcing governments around the world to take a stand on the issue. People in general have widely varying opinions about euthanasia, from supporting the idea to extreme disagreement due to religious reasons and personal morals which in essence adds fuel to the fire.

The term euthanasia is derived Greek, meaning “good death”. In essence Euthanasia can be defined as medically assisted suicide, a term employed for “merciful killing” or the intention to kill oneself to relieve suffering. Suicide is a term used to define self-harm in an attempt to kill oneself; that is, intentionally cause his or her own death. Suicide often is committed out of despair or due to an underlying mental disorder. Many other issues are known to influence suicidal behaviour, most commonly financial difficulties and troubles with personal relationships.

There are two main types of euthanasia known today, being passive and active euthanasia. Passive euthanasia is to allow a person to end their life passively, that is, by “withholding” or “withdrawing treatment”. This is the most common type of euthanasia whereby a patient is terminally ill and the family decides to end their life by removing treatment (such as respirators, heart or lung machines, feeding tubes or any other mechanical means of life support. Cases like this occur when there is no known chance of the patient recovering from the...
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