Euthanasia (Greek for Good)

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Euthanasia (Greek for Good)

By | Jan. 2000
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The word "euthanasia" comes from the greek--eu, "good", and thanatos, "death". Literally, "good death". The dictionary describes euthanasia as "a quiet and easy death, the

means of procuring this or, the action of inducing a quiet and easy death." Euthanasia has a becomes a legal, medical, and ethical issue over which opinions are divided. I feel that if there is no hope for a cure for a terminally ill patient then if they want, let them out of their misery.

There are two different types of euthanasia. One is active euthanasia, which means that a physician or other medical personnel takes a deliberate action that will include death such as: administering an overdose of morphine, insulin, or barbiturates followed by an injection of curare. The second type is passive euthanasia, which is letting a patient die for lack of treatment that has begun. Some examples of passive euthanasia are taking patients off of a respirator or any other form of life-support and stopping the patients food supply (Compton's Encyc).

Who decides if the patient should die? The United States leaves the decision up to the state which usually allows the physician to suggest the option of death to a patient's relatives. Non-terminally ill patients have been put to death without their consent at the request of relatives or the insistence of the physician (Compton's Encyc). In Washington two physicians had different opinions on the subject of assisted suicide. One physician had gotten a call from a patient who had been diagnosed with AIDS and was talking about suicide and said he was now ready to die. He had lost 60 pounds and was in so much pain the doctor placed him on morphine. The physician went to his patient's apartment and showed him how to turn the morphine drip up to a deadly level. Six hours later he

received a phone call and the patient was dead. Another physician received the same request from an AIDS patient. Instead of helping the patient die the physician refused...
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