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Literature REVIEW

Subbmitted by :
Mayank Grover
19/053 Sec B

Euthanasia (from the Greek meaning "good death":( well or good) + (death)) refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering. There are different euthanasia laws in each country. The House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics of England defines euthanasia as "a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life, to relieve intractable suffering”. In the Netherlands, euthanasia is understood as "termination of life by a doctor at the request of a patient". Wreen, offered a six part definition:

"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 specified 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 (1), the motive standing behind the intention specified in (2), is the good of the person killed. The definition offered by the Oxford English Dictionary incorporates suffering as a necessary condition, with "the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma". History

According to the historian N. D. A. Kemp, the origin of the contemporary debate on euthanasia started in 1870. Nevertheless, euthanasia was debated and practiced long before that date. Euthanasia was practised in Ancient Greece and Rome: for example, hemlock was employed as a means of hastening death on the island of Kea, a technique also employed in Marseilles and by Socrates in Athens.

Euthanasia, in the sense of the deliberate hastening of a person's death, was supported by Socrates, Plato and Seneca the Elder in the ancient world, although Hippocrates appears to have spoken against the practice, writing "I will not prescribe a 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). Euthanasia was 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. As did Francois Ranchin (1565–1641), a French physician and professor of medicine, and Michael Boudewijns (1601–1681), a physician and teacher. Nevertheless, there were voices arguing for euthanasia, such as John Donne in 1624, and euthanasia continued to be practiced. Suicide and euthanasia were more acceptable under Protestantism and during the Age of Enlightenment, and Thomas More wrote of euthanasia in Utopia, although it is not clear if More was intending to endorse the practice. Other cultures have taken different approaches: for example, in Japan suicide has not traditionally been viewed as a sin, and accordingly the perceptions of euthanasia are different from those in other parts of the world. Classification of euthanasia

Euthanasia may be classified according to whether a person gives informed consent into three types: 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 & Davidson and, later, by Wreen, consent on the part of the patient was not considered to be one of their criteria, although it may have been required to justify euthanasia. However, others see consent as essential.

Voluntary euthanasia
Euthanasia conducted with the consent of the patient is termed voluntary euthanasia. Active voluntary euthanasia is...
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