The Passive And Active Forms of Euthanasia

The Passive And Active Forms of Euthanasia

  • Submitted By: muthemba
  • Date Submitted: 04/27/2014 4:34 AM
  • Category: Science
  • Words: 691
  • Page: 3

Euthanasia: The Passive And Active Forms


Euthanasia is the practice of deliberately terminating a patient’s life for the sole purpose of alleviating suffering and pain being experienced by the patient (Gert & Culver, 1986). This practice allowed in a number of countries but still is classified as illegal in many other countries in the world. The practices raises a lot of questions about its moral and ethical stands depending on who is asking the questions, with the pro-life quarters arguing that life is sacred and should be terminated at personal whims. The cost of treatment or maintaining the patient in a healthcare facility leads to patients and their family settling for this practice.
The practice is classified into three main categories; voluntary euthanasia conducted with the consent of the patient, non-voluntary euthanasia practiced where the consent of the patient is unavailable and involuntary euthanasia which is performed against the patients consent. Each of the three categories can then further be classified either as active or passive forms of euthanasia depending on the method of life termination applied (Wreen, 1988).
Active euthanasia involves taking certain steps to ensure a patient’s life is terminated. This includes the use of lethal substance like poison or the use of an overdose of sleeping pills or pain killers such as Ecotrin or Motrin 800. This is mostly referred to as the lethal injections form of euthanasia (Materstvedt et al., 2003). On the other hand, passive euthanasia involves the withholding of medication or treatment to the patient allowing the disease to process rapid and end the life of the patient in question. For example if a patient is diagnosed with cancer and they willing down chemotherapy, this is a form of voluntary passive euthanasia where the patient has consented to the termination of his/her life but not by...

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