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Assisted Suicide, Euthanasia


A. Terms: What Are Euthanasia, Physician Assisted Suicide And Futile Care Theory?

Terms Regarding Euthanasia, Physician Assisted Suicide, Futile Care Theory from www.euthanasia.com/definitions.html and www.californiaprolife.org/euthanasia/definitions.html

Euthanasia: the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit. (The key word here is "intentional". If death is not intended, it is not an act of euthanasia)

Voluntary euthanasia: When the person who is killed has requested to be killed.

Non-voluntary: When the person who is killed made no request and gave no consent.

Involuntary euthanasia: When the person who is killed made an expressed wish to the contrary.

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 himself or herself it is called "physician assisted suicide."

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.

Rational Suicide.”  This is a new term.  It is becoming common to think that suicide is rational if there is a hopeless condition including, but not limited to, severe pain, psychological pain, debilitating mental or physical conditions, and if the quality of life is no longer acceptable to the person.  (Wesley Smith, Culture of Death pp.96-97).  Wesley Smith notes that this would make all suicide “rational” because all suicidal people believe their quality of life to be unacceptable.

Futile Care Theory holds that when a physician believes the quality of a patient’s life is not sufficient to justify life-sustaining treatment, the doctor is entitled to refuse care, calling it inappropriate.  (Burke Balche J.D. Medical Ethics director, National Right to Life, personal pre-interview communication)


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