Euthanasia and Death

Topics: Euthanasia, Death, Medical ethics Pages: 36 (13280 words) Published: January 10, 2014
Part One

This study attempts to seek the core meaning of euthanasia (mercy killing), its application, how it can be beneficial to the society, its unconstructive effects, the stand of the church and its significance. Euthanasia has been largely affected by criticisms both from the field of medicine, religion, and law. In this study, the researchers shall identify those facts that govern the instances where in these fields interplay with each other to the various topics related to euthanasia and to its development.

Etymologically, in ancient times euthanasia meant an easy death without severe suffering. Today one no longer thinks of this original meaning of the word, but rather of some intervention of medicine whereby the suffering of sickness or of the final agony are reduced, sometimes also with the danger of suppressing life prematurely. Ultimately, the word euthanasia is used in a more particular sense to mean "mercy killing," for the purpose of putting an end to extreme suffering, or saving abnormal babies, the mentally ill or the incurably sick from the prolongation, perhaps for many years, of a miserable life, which could impose too heavy a burden on their families or on society .

Euthanasia , also called mercy killing , is an act or practice of painlessly putting to death persons suffering from painful and incurable disease or incapacitating physical disorder or allowing them to die by withholding treatment or withdrawing artificial life-support measures. Because there is no specific provision for it in most legal systems, it is usually regarded as either suicide (if performed by the patient himself) or murder (if performed by another). A physician may, however, lawfully decide not to prolong life in cases of extreme suffering, and he may administer drugs to relieve pain even if this shortens the patient’s life .

It is the deliberate ending of life of a person suffering from an incurable disease. In recent years the concept has been broadened to include the practice of withholding extraordinary means or “heroic measures,” and thus allowing the patient to die. A distinction was traditionally made between positive or active euthanasia, in which there is the deliberate ending of life and an action is taken to cause death in a person, and negative or passive euthanasia, which is the withholding of life-preserving procedures and treatments that would prolong the life of one who is incurably and terminally ill and could not survive without them. However, now all euthanasia is generally understood to be active, and so the more accurate term forgoing life-sustaining treatment is replacing passive euthanasia . 

By euthanasia is understood an action or an omission which of itself or by intention causes death, in order that all suffering may in this way be eliminated. Euthanasia's terms of reference, therefore, are to be found in the intention of the will and in the methods used .

A study in euthanasia helps us understand not only its functions, the positive and negative effects but also to how we perceive the act itself. Euthanasia has many forms and an understanding of each form or type may help us be aware of its significance. Knowledge of the application contributes to how it can be developed to become useful to our society and give positive effects rather than negative effects.

In this analysis, we can give moral justification to what is euthanasia in an unbiased judgment given by facts and full understanding of such activity that goes between life and death.

Part Two-A
Physician-assisted deaths under the euthanasia law in Belgium: a population-based survey Background: Legalization of euthanasia and physician assisted suicide has been heavily debated in many countries. To help inform this debate, we describe the practices of euthanasia and assisted suicide, and the use of life ending drugs without an explicit request from the patient, in Flanders, Belgium,...

Bibliography: Seper, F. C. (1980, May 5). Retrieved 2013
Seper, F
Inghelbrecht E et al. Nurses ' attitudes towards end-of-life decisions in medical practice: a nationwide study in Flanders, Belgium. Palliative Medicine, 2009, 23:649-658.
Pasman HR et al. Policy statements and practice guidelines for medical end-of-life decisions in Dutch health care institutions: developments in the past decade. Health Policy, 2009, 92:79-88.
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