Facts About Euthanasia
1. Definitions of Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide The term Euthanasia originated from the Greek word for "good death." It is the act or practice of ending the life of a person either by lethal injection or the suspension of medical treatment. Because of this, many view euthanasia as simply bringing relief by alleviating pain and suffering. The word has also been applied to situations when a decision is made to refrain from exercising "heroic" measures in an end-of-life situation. Voluntary Euthanasia - When a competent person makes a voluntary and enduring request to be helped to die. Involuntary Euthanasia - To end a person's life without their knowledge or consent. Active Euthanasia - To end a person's life by use of drugs, whether by oneself or with the aid of a physician. Passive Euthanasia - To end a person life by not taking the necessary and ordinary action to maintain life. This can be done by withdrawing water, food, drugs, medical or surgical procedures. Physician-Assisted Suicide - Suicide accomplished with the aid of a medical doctor intentionally providing a person with an overdose of prescription medication. Assisted Suicide - Suicide accomplished with the aid of another person. 2. Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia are legal and widely practiced in the Netherlands where: About 9% of all deaths were a result of physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia in 1990. Dutch doctors practice active euthanasia by lethal injections (96.6% of all deaths actively caused by physicians in 1990). Physician-assisted suicide is very infrequent (no more than 3.4% of all cases in Holland of active termination of life in 1990). For patients who die of a lethal overdose of painkillers, the decision to administer the lethal dose of drugs was not discussed with 61% of those receiving it, even though 27% were fully competent. The Board of the Royal Dutch Medical Association endorsed euthanasia on newborns and infants with...
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