Euthanasia: the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit. (The key word here is "intentional". If death is not intended, it is not an act of euthanasia) • Voluntary euthanasia: When the person who is killed has requested to be killed. • Non-voluntary: When the person who is killed made no request and gave no consent. • Involuntary euthanasia: When the person who is killed made an expressed wish to the contrary. • Assisted suicide: Someone provides an individual with the information, guidance, and means to take his or her own life with the intention that they will be used for this purpose. When it is a doctor who helps another person to kill themselves it is called "physician assisted suicide." • Euthanasia By Action: Intentionally causing a person's death by performing an action such as by giving a lethal injection. • Euthanasia By Omission: Intentionally causing death by not providing necessary and ordinary (usual and customary) care or food and water. 1. Unbearable pain as the reason for euthanasia
Probably the major argument in favor of euthanasia is that the person involved is in great pain. Today, advances are constantly being made in the treatment of pain and, as they advance, the case for euthanasia/assisted-suicide is proportionally weakened. Euthanasia advocates stress the cases of unbearable pain as reasons for euthanasia, but then they soon include a "drugged" state. I guess that is in case virtually no uncontrolled pain cases can be found - then they can say those people are drugged into a no-pain state but they need to be euthanasiaed from such a state because it is not dignified. See the opening for the slippery slope? How do you measure "dignity"? No - it will be euthanasia "on demand". The pro-euthanasia folks have already started down the slope. They are even now not stoping with "unbearable pain" - they are alrady including this "drugged state" and other circumstances. Nearly all pain can be eliminated and - in those rare cases where it can't be eliminated - it can still be reduced significantly if proper treatment is provided. It is a national and international scandal that so many people do not get adequate pain control. But killing is not the answer to that scandal. The solution is to mandate better education of health care professionals on these crucial issues, to expand access to health care, and to inform patients about their rights as consumers. Everyone - whether it be a person with a life-threatening illness or a chronic condition - has the right to pain relief. With modern advances in pain control, no patient should ever be in excruciating pain. However, most doctors have never had a course in pain management so they're unaware of what to do. If a patient who is under a doctor's care is in excruciating pain, there's definitely a need to find a different doctor. But that doctor should be one who will control the pain, not one who will kill the patient. There are board certified specialists in pain management who will not only help alleviate physical pain but are skilled in providing necessary support to deal with emotional suffering and depression that often accompanies physical pain. 2. Demanding a "right to commit suicide" Probably the second most common point pro-euthanasia people bring up is this so-called "right." But what we are talking about is not giving a right to the person who is killed, but to the person who does the killing. In other words, euthanasia is not about the right to die. It's about the right to kill. Euthanasia is not about giving rights to the person who dies but, instead, is about changing the law and public policy so that doctors, relatives and others can directly and intentionally end another person's life. People do have the power to commit suicide. Suicide and attempted suicide are not criminalized. Suicide is a tragic, individual act. Euthanasia is not about a private act. It's...
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