By: Danny Ruedi

Background Information

The word “euthanasia” originates from the Greek words eu- (good) and thanatos (death). According to the World Medical Association euthanasia means: “deliberate and intentional action with a clear intention to end another person’s life under the following conditions: the subject is a competent informed person with incurable illness who voluntary asked for ending his life; the person who is acting knows about the state of this person and about his wish to die and is doing this action with an intention to end life of this person; the action is done with compassion and without any personal profit."

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Forms Of Euthanasia

Active Euthanasia: means ending life of a suffering person on his own request by another person, mostly by a doctor, and most of the time by lethal injection. This form has two varieties: Non-voluntary and Involuntary.

Passive Euthanasia: means acceleration of death by letting the patient die naturally.

Assisted suicide: the suffering person dies with another person’s help.

4 Perspectives on Euthanasia

1.) Euthanasia is Murder

In some countries such as Germany, euthanasia has been outlawed because it is seen as a taking of a person's life where they're are no circumstances when that is morally correct. Germany believes in this view mostly due to the large number of cases under the nazi regime.

2.) Passive Euthanasia Only

There is a perspective that believes that the ending of a life by assistance is only morally correct in the case of prolonging a uneventful, sick, and or depressing life. In Japan for example, only passive euthanasia is permitted to those who have been in a coma for longer than three months.

3.) Consent For Active Euthanasia

In countries such as the Netherlands, Active Euthanasia is legal. Active Euthanasia is ending life of a suffering person on his own request by another person, only by a doctor, and most of the time by lethal injection. This perspective revolves around the idea that the suicide is only okay in the case of the patient consenting and pleading for assisted suicide. It handles the opposition argument that the patient could be euthanized by a doctor without consent. The patient must be conscious in the effort of consent.

4.) Pharmaceutical Death

In Oregon and Washington of the USA, citizens are allowed to plead for a doctor's approval prescription for an euthanizing drug at a pharmacy in the state. They must run through mental and physical tests prior to the prescription nevertheless. This perspective relies on the doctor's view on each patient that pleads for assisted suicide by prescription drug.

Summaries of Articles With Explanations

Article #1: "Death's Last Dignity"

Throughout the argumentative writing of Shannon Proudfoot, she proclaims the benefits that go unspoken for in the event of assisted suicide. The article recounts many occurrences of euthanasia in Canada with stories of citizens who believe that assisted suicide is justified through the wake of enduring pain and inevitable early death. One account is given where a couple who had been happily married for 26 years finds themselves in the event of the husband diagnosed wit the disease ALS. As time goes on, his body begins to wear down and as the wife pleas for a dignified death of mercy in the situation of pain, she finds that it is not attainable in Canada. This type of predicament hurts more lives than just the one who is suffering in pain. Regardless of the disease or downfall, a person with a 0% chance at overcoming a disease should be entitled to the option of assisted suicide at some point and Proudfoot expands on this in a compelling way. Through the use of emotional appeal, it is hard to say that the reader, him or herself, can not feel the difficultness of the situation the people in these hard predicaments feel.

Article #2: "Grim Reaper"

In this article written by Douglas Murray, in contrast to the previous article, this one gives a more in depth look at all the viewpoints surrounding the topic of euthanasia and about the law put in place around the world for Euthanasia. It is true that they're are many places that Euthanasia is accepted in certain ways. Nevertheless, they are places that it is outlawed and they are differences in points of view by religion. From the earliest of times, it is concluded that Euthanasia is wrong in the eyes of the church of Judaism and Christianity, but Murray does a meaningful and well explained breakdown of where the moral code line for Euthanasia is drawn out.

Annotated Bibliography & Works Cited

Annotated Bibliography:

Proudfoot, Shannon. "Death's last dignity: Canada's leading assisted-death counsellor on the questions he most often faces." Maclean's 2 May 2016: 20. General OneFile. Web. 12 May 2016.


Murray, Douglas. "Grim Reaper, M.D.: the Low Countries slide down the euthanasia slippery slope." National Review 25 Apr. 2016: 32+. General OneFile. Web. 19 May 2016.