Euthanasia: Murder or Suicide

Topics: Death, Suffering, Pain Pages: 3 (843 words) Published: September 7, 2009
Running head: Euthanasia

Euthanasia: Murder or Suicide

Geoffrey Peterson

University of Louisville

Euthanasia: Murder or Suicide

Life is a wonderful gift and each of us enjoys it in different ways. Some embark on journeys full of excitement and risk while others are happy to live life calmly and are risk averse. However, there is one common factor among all of us – we are all dying at some point. For some, death comes quickly and without pain. Others may experience a debilitating disease that causes a slow and excruciating death. For the latter individuals, there are many ways of dealing with this condition. Some may choose pain management, while others may choose the very unpopular assisted-suicide or euthanasia option. In recent years, the legality and morality of such actions have been a focus among proponents and opponents.

While both euthanasia and assisted suicide both result in death, they are different depending on the last action that caused the death. Euthanasia insinuates that someone other than the ailing individual caused the death while assisted suicide occurs when the individual themselves cause the event that leads to their demise. For example, if a doctor sets up a pump containing a lethal combination of drugs that can be triggered by the patient, then one would deem that the patient died via assisted suicide since they would need to cause the pump to engage. However, if the doctor or person helping the ailing person injects the lethal drug, then euthanasia has taken place. Euthanasia and/or assisted suicide have been legalized in many areas of the world. In the US, both Washington and Oregon have legalized assisted suicide as a form of treatment for those facing end of life decisions. This treatment is illegal in the remaining US states and euthanasia is outlawed in all states. Internationally, there are an increasing number of countries legalizing both euthanasia and assisted suicide. In 1995, Australia...

References: Information for Research on Euthanasia, Physician-Assisted Suicide, Living Wills, Mercy Killing. (2008) Retrieved December 1, 2008, from
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