Euthanasia is from a Greek word (εὐθανασία) meaning "good death" where εὖ, eu (well or good) and thanatos (death) refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to be relieved from pain and suffering. Euthanasia is categorized in three different ways, which include voluntary euthanasia, non-voluntary euthanasia, or involuntary euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia is legal in some countries and U.S. states. Non-voluntary euthanasia is illegal in all countries. However, in the Netherlands, physicians can avoid prosecution by following well described and strict conditions. These conditions include patient request, taking into consideration the amount of suffering the patient is experiencing, alternative courses of action must be discussed and pursued, all available information must be presented to the patient. Involuntary euthanasia is usually considered murder. They are different technical definition of euthanasia depends on the usage. The term ‘euthanasia’ was first introduced by a historian Suetonius who described how the Emperor Augustus’s, "dying quickly and without suffering in the arms of his wife, Livia, experienced the euthanasia he had wished for. In the medical context the word "euthanasia" was first used by Francis Bacon in the 17th century which refers to an easy, painless, happy death, where it is a "physician's responsibility to alleviate3 the physical sufferings of the body of a patient." Moreover Bacon referred to an "outward euthanasia"(the term "outward" is to distinguish from a spiritual concept) which regards the preparation of the soul. In current usage, one approach to defining euthanasia has been to mirror Suetonius, regarding it as the "painless inducement of a quick death". However, it is argued that this approach fails to properly define euthanasia, as it leaves open a number of possible actions which would meet the requirements of the definition, but would not be seen as euthanasia. In particular, these include situations where a person kills another, painlessly, but for no reason beyond that of personal gain; or accidental deaths which are quick and painless, but not intentional. There was a debate within the medical and bioethics literature about whether or not the non-voluntary 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.
Euthanasia may be classified into three types: voluntary, non-voluntary and involuntary. The first type of euthanasia is voluntary euthanasia. The euthanasia that is conducted with the consent of the patient is termed voluntary euthanasia. Active voluntary euthanasia is legal in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Passive voluntary euthanasia is legal throughout the U.S. per Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health. When the patient brings about his or her own death with the assistance of a physician, the term assisted suicide is often used instead. Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland and the U.S. states of Oregon, Washington and Montana.The second type of euthanasia is non-voluntary euthanasia. It is conducted where the consent of the patient is unavailable. Examples of non-voluntary euthanasia includes child euthanasia, which is illegal worldwide but decriminalised under certain specific circumstances in the Netherlands under the Groningen Protocol.However the third type of euthanasia is involuntary euthanasia. This type of euthanasia will be conducted against the will of the patient. Voluntary, non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia can all be further divided into passive or active variants. Passive euthanasia entails the withholding of common treatments, such as antibiotics, necessary for the...
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