Euthanasia is defined the deliberate killing by act or omission of a human being for his or her supposed benefit. Voluntary euthanasia is when a person shows consent to his life being taken and involuntary euthanasia is when the person to be killed is unable of giving permission or does not give consent. Another form of Euthanasia is assisted suicide in which the concerned person is offered by the means to take his or her life. If a doctor provides this help it is called physician-assisted suicide. [www.euthanasia.com] Basically euthanasia is normally practiced on people whose pain of living is more than the pain of dying. In this particular case the argument was whether this is euthanasia or not. In the Book Euthanasia Examined John Harrris writes that:
"The harm you do in taking a life is the harm of depriving someone of something that they can value. But you may also wrong those who may care about him or who may value life intrinsically If the harm of ending a life is principally a harm to the person whose life it is
. than voluntary euthanasia will not be wrong on this account." (Amazon.com) This book is extremely well documented and analyzes the practical and philosophical aspects of Euthanasia in depth. Yet Wesley J Smith seems to be of another view:
Whatever happens in Alaska, assisted suicide won't soon be widely legalized in the United States. Thus, the time has come to look beyond a movement that actively harms the dying and disabled people it purports to help. Not only does it disparage the value of their lives, but also it diverts media and popular attention from all that medicine can do to make people's dying days worth living. It is high time that the issue of end-of-life care be given serious and concentrated consideration. For example, it is a national scandal that only 29 percent of Americans who died in 1999 received hospice services, and those who did often did so for only...
Cited: Definitions of Euthanasia; http://www.euthanasia.com/definitions.html
(April 16, 2007)
Weekly Standard; December 18, 2000. Provided by: The Pro-Life Info net, a daily compilation of pro-life news and information.
Killing Yourself: The Ethics of Suicide and Euthanasia. Retrieved on 8th October 2003 from World Wide Web: http://academics.vmi.edu/psy_dr/killing_yourself.htm
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