Physician assisted suicide is when a doctor helps a patient take his own life. This is
basically what it is, but there are different types, some are considered to be good, some are
murder. No matter what type it is, this is one heated topic in some forums of discussion. Some
argue we have the right to life, but not death. I will describe basically what physician assisted
suicide is composed of, and the various types of assisted suicide.
Two categories divide the topic of physician assisted suicide. These categories are Active
and Passive euphenasia. Active euphenasia requires that a premeditated step be taken in order to
intentionally end a patient's life. This could be done with an administering of a lethal dose of
medication, carbon monoxide or other means, by the doctor. Passive euphenasia is basically
letting nature take its course. This would involve removing life support, letting an opportunistic
disease take over and kill the patient, or giving no treatment at all.
These two categories can in turn be broken into two subcategories: voluntary and
nonvoluntary euphanasia. Voluntary active euphanasia requires the patients explicit consent for
the doctor to aid in suicide. Nonvoluntary active euphanasia is murder. In this case the doctor
would intentionally kill the patient without the patient's consent. Voluntary passive euphanasia
involves the patient refusing medical treatment, life support or intravenous nutrition in order to die.
Nonvoluntary passive euphanasia is when the patient cannot make a decision to end his own life,
so his family decides for him. This is only good when the patient has absolutely no chance of
surviving, or, if he does survive, then he would be a total vegetable; as good as dead.
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