What is euthanasia?

Most often, the word euthanasia can be heard in the movie, a little less – in medical practice, both against people and animals. Need to find out what lies beneath this, at first glance, a complicated term. What is euthanasia?

what is euthanasia

The history of the emergence

For the first time this term was coined by Francis bacon, English philosopher. This came about in the sixteenth century, at the time the word was used when it was about «easy death». However, despite the fact that the term originated only a few centuries ago, the process itself is considered rather old.

We can assume that euthanasia has existed for quite a long time, only in ancient times, it could hardly be called an easy death.» For example, in Sparta, the sick and the weak were disposed of by dropping them off a cliff, but today it’s different.

What is euthanasia?

So what is euthanasia in the modern world? It is the termination of human life, is due to the inability to cure a disease that would, ultimately, led to death. In other words, euthanasia is an accelerated death.

The same word is called and euthanasia of animals, no matter if it’s for medical reasons or simply due to the fact that the animal is stray or wild.



«Express death» can be of two types. The first option is called passive euthanasia. It is most commonly used, if terminally ill for a long time unconscious and lives by life support machines. If you decide on euthanasia, then these devices are simply cut off, which leads to death.

Active euthanasia involves injecting a person certain drugs. This allows you to achieve the most rapid and, equally important, painless result.

The decision on euthanasia can be taken as a patient himself and his relatives, if the former is impossible. The common practice of pre-drafting lawyers, in which people indicate their desire to carry out euthanasia in case of prolonged coma or other such events. If the document is not, and the patient regains consciousness, it is the decision to take his closest relatives.

passive euthanasia

Ethical question

The subject of euthanasia continues to inspire many debates among scientists and philosophers. If you pay attention to the Hippocratic Oath which is the basis for virtually all medicine, then it is strictly contrary to such a death.

However, many terminally ill patients do not agree with the opinion of Hippocrates. More and more people consider a quick cessation of life more humane process than its medical sequel, which will be filled with suffering, and ends, ultimately, all the same death.

Related to this question, everywhere is different – in some countries there are no clear laws on the subject, others are absolutely legal euthanasia. In some places a valid passive, that is off from vehicles, and in other places it is completely prohibited.

for and against

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