Euthanasia and its types
Active euthanasia: An active intervention by a doctor to end life. For instance: by injecting sedatives (McDougall and Gorman, 2008).
Passive euthanasia: Intentionally withholding or withdrawing medical treatment which would help the patient to maintain life, with the intention of ending life (McDougall and Gorman, 2008).
Voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide: Ending the life of the patient when he/she makes a conscious decision to die and give consent for the procedure (McDougall and Gorman, 2008).
Non-voluntary euthanasia: Ending the life of the patient who is not capable to make consent and give permission. In such a case another person gives consent on behalf. However, the final decision is based on the previously expressed wishes of the patient. For example: as stated in an advance healthcare directive (living will) (Butts and Rich, 2005, p.235).
Involuntary euthanasia: Ending the life of the patient against their expressed wishes. It is almost considered as a murder (Tulloch, 2005).
Physician assisted suicide: It occurs when the patient himself takes a lethal drug prescribed by the doctor (Yount, 2002).
Assisted suicide: It occurs when the individual other than doctor helps terminally ill patients to die at his/her request (Scherer and Simon, 1999).
Non Physician assisted suicide: This term is mainly used in Switzerland where most assisted suicides are carried out by trained volunteers, rarely by doctors (Scherer and Simon, 1999).
History and background:
Debate about the ethics and the physician assisted suicide date from ancient Greece and Rome. Though the Hippocrath Oath (400 BC) opposed euthanasia, the ancient Greeks and Romans believed that the person who takes his life as a burden and does not wish to live has no need to preserve his life. In brief, the ancient Greeks and Roman civilizations allow for practising voluntary euthanasia. The first law against assisted killing termed as anti-euthanasia was...