• The intentional killing by act or omission of a
dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit.
• There is no euthanasia unless the death is intentionally caused
by what was done or not done. Thus, some medical actions that
are often labeled "passive euthanasia" are no form of
euthanasia, since the intention to take life is lacking.
• These acts include not commencing treatment that would not
provide a benefit to the patient, withdrawing treatment that has
been shown to be ineffective, too burdensome or is
unwanted, and the giving of high doses of pain-killers that may
endanger life, when they have been shown to be necessary. All
those are part of good medical practice, endorsed by law, when
they are properly carried out.
• Euthanasia: the intentional killing by act or omission of a
dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit.
• Euthanasia by Action: Intentionally causing a person's death by
performing an action such as by giving a lethal injection.
• Euthanasia by Omission: Intentionally causing death by not
providing necessary and ordinary (usual and customary) care or
food and water.
• Assisted suicide: Someone provides an individual with the
information, guidance, and means to take his or her own life with
the intention that they will be used for this purpose.
• When it is a doctor who helps another person to kill themselves it is
called "physician assisted suicide."
• The person wants to die and says so. This includes cases of:
• Asking for help with dying
• Refusing burdensome medical treatment
• Asking for medical treatment to be stopped, or life support
machines to be switched off.
• Refusing to eat
• Simply deciding to die
• The person cannot make a decision or cannot make their
wishes known. This includes cases where:
• The person is in a coma
• The person is too young (a very young baby)
• The person is senile
• The person is mentally retarded to a very severe extent
• The person is severely brain damaged
• The person is mentally disturbed in such a way that they should be
protected from themselves
• The person wants to live but is killed anyway. This is usually
murder but not always. Consider the following examples:
• A soldier has their stomach blown open by a shell burst. They are
in great pain and screaming in agony. They beg the army doctor to
save their life. The doctor knows that they will die in ten minutes
whatever happens. As he has no painkilling drug with him he
decides to spare the soldier further pain and shoots them dead.
• Active euthanasia occurs when the medical professionals, or another
person, deliberately do something that causes the patient to die.
• Passive euthanasia occurs when the patient dies because the medical
professionals either don't do something necessary to keep the patient
alive, or when they stop doing something that is keeping the patient
• Switch off life-support machines.
• Disconnect a feeding tube.
• Don't carry out a life-extending operation.
• Don't give life-extending drugs.
• Unbearable pain as the reason for euthanasia
It is probably the major argument in favor of euthanasia is
that the person involved is in great pain. Euthanasia advocates
stress the cases of unbearable pain as reasons for euthanasia, but
then they soon include a "drugged" state. I guess that is in case
virtually no uncontrolled pain cases can be found - then they can
say those people are drugged into a no-pain state but they need to
be euthanatized from such a state because it is not dignified.
• Demanding a "right to commit suicide"
But what we are talking about is not giving a right to the
person who is killed, but to the person who does the killing. In
other words, euthanasia is not about the right to die. It's about the
right to kill. Euthanasia is not about giving rights to the person
who dies but, instead, is about changing the law and public policy
so that doctors, relatives and others can directly and intentionally
end another person's life.
• Should people be forced to stay alive?
No. And neither the law nor medical ethics requires that
"everything be done" to keep a person alive. Insistence, against
the patient's wishes, that death be postponed by every means
available is contrary to law and practice. It would also be cruel
• On the Patient
• The so-called “right to die” quickly becomes a duty to die because
of subtle or direct pressure.
• Treatment denied to deserving patients based on so-called “quality
of life” decisions.
• Loss of hope, self-worth, and trust in the physician and family can
lead to suicide
• On the Family
• Provides an opportunity for a family with ulterior motives to
acquire financial gain.
• Undermines family stability by taking away hope (Christian belief
and values are undermined).
• A family’s perception of the patient’s worth is devalued; dividing a
family on life and death decisions.
• Undermines family and patient control over medical treatment
• On the Medical Community and Society
• Killing becomes an option in medical treatment options.
• Medical Caregivers change from healers and comforters to killers.
(They play God).
• Physicians and hospitals lose the faith and the trust of the public.
• As medical ethics decline there will be a progressive loss of
respect for all human life.
• Suicide and murder become acceptable.
• Economic pressures may lead to discrimination in medical
decision making against persons with disabilities, or those who are
poor, weak, or defenseless.
• The places in the World where Euthanasia or Assisted Suicide
are legal are:
• Oregon and Washington.
Brain death: Jeffrey Alexander Santiago González in Puerto Rico
• A couple weeks ago the parents of this child found him
unconscious after he fell from his bed. The hit severely
wounded the brain of the kid and thus he was diagnosed with
brain death. The circuit court determined that the boy should be
disconnected since the medical costs ascended up to $80,000
• Pain management therapy.
• Valorization of life through the reinforcement of values.
• Psychological rehabilitation for the patient and his/her family.
• A law (or permit) similar to the one that allows people to
donate their organs when they die.
• Arguments for Euthanasia:
• It provides a way to relieve extreme pain.
• It provides a way of relief when a person's quality of life is low.
• Frees up medical funds to help other people.
• It is another case of freedom of choice.
• Arguments against Euthanasia:
• Euthanasia devalues human life. With euthanasia no one’s life is being
saved, life is only taken.
• Euthanasia can become a means of health care cost containment.
• Euthanasia is voluntarily however the psychological and financial
pressures are overpowering.
• There is a "slippery slope" effect that has occurred where euthanasia has
been first been legalized for only the terminally ill and later laws are
changed to allow it for other people or to be done non-voluntarily.