This is the homepage for the 1st hour Euthanasia/Right to Die Laws group.

Click here for our opinion page. Click here for our summary.

Our issue is Euthanasia, which is whether or not people have a right to end their life if they are suffering. It is a moral issue because it affects a lot of lives that could be saved or killed depending on other’s decisions. It makes us sort of play God in the sense that we make the decision whether to kill or save a person. Our moral question is “Should a loved one or doctor be allowed to make the decision to end someone else’s life?”


1. What is euthanasia?
"Euthanasia," from the Greek words meaning "good death," is something we do or fail to do which causes, or is intended to cause, death, in order to remove a person from suffering. This is sometimes called "mercy killing."

2. Where is euthanasia legal?
Voluntary euthanasia is legal in the US states of Oregon and Washington and in the European countries of Belgium, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

3. What's the difference between euthanasia and suicide?
Suicide is the act of taking one’s life while euthanasia is the act of taking the life of another whether voluntary or not. Suicides are voluntary but euthanasia can also be involuntary or non voluntary. Suicide is done out of despair, while euthanasia is done to end the pain and suffering of a terminally ill patient. Although death through suicide and euthanasia are considered wrong by some people and religions, others consider it part of their culture.

4. Who currently can decide someone's death? In what situation?
The doctors suggest that it should be done, but it can’t be done without the consent of a family member.

5. What are ways to commit euthanasia to others or yourself?
The most common way is if they are in the hospital to “pull the plug” which stops the life support they are on, but can also be injections

6. What is the difference between active and passive euthanasia?
"Active" euthanasia refers to an action one takes to end a life, for example, a lethal injection. "Passive" euthanasia refers to an omission -- such as failing to intervene at a life-threatening crisis, or failing to provide nourishment. It is important not to confuse "passive euthanasia" with the morally legitimate decision to withhold medical treatment that is not morally necessary. (The question of what is or is not morally necessary is handled below.) When we forego a treatment that we are not required to use, then even if death comes faster as a result, that withholding is not euthanasia in any form and should not be called by the name.

7. Isn’t pain a good reason to die?
The Apostle Paul said that he and his fellow workers rejoiced in sufferings (Romans 5:3). Many people presume that because pain makes this existence less than perfect that we should have the right to escape it. Yet, God uses pain for some very important reasons. It was the result of the fall into sin (Genesis 3:16). It is used by God to discipline (Job 33:19). It also focuses our attention on God for deliverance and hope (1 Peter 2:19). Because of such benefits, pain may arguably be a good reason not to seek death! This does not, however, remove our responsibility to relieve pain. Bear in mind that to pursue death is to pursue an end which only God can authorize or make happen. Pain is not a good reason to die. Pain is a good reason for concerned Christians to take action to make a person comfortable in diminished pain.

8. What’s the difference between voluntary and non-voluntary euthanasia?
Voluntary euthanasia involves a competent and stated desire of someone to have his or her life terminated. Non-voluntary euthanasia pertains to the termination of someone's life by another without the patient's knowledge or consent.

9. What is involuntary euthanasia?
It is the killing of people although they want to live.

10. How are euthanasia and assisted suicide political issues?
The first purpose of government is to defend and protect the lives of the citizens, and both euthanasia and assisted suicide contradict that fundamental purpose. To move from the view that government has an essential duty to protect lives, to the view that it can choose to destroy (or permit the destruction) of life, is a "sea change" about which the US Catholic bishops have spoken in the following words:"The losers in this ethical sea change will be those who are elderly, poor, disabled and politically marginalized. None of these pass the utility test; and yet, they at least have a presence. They at least have the possibility of organizing to be heard. Those who are unborn, infirm and terminally ill have no such advantage. They have no "utility," and worse, they have no voice. As we tinker with the beginning, the end and even the intimate cell structure of life, we tinker with our own identity as a free nation dedicated to the dignity of the human person. When American political life becomes an experiment on people rather than for and by them, it will no longer be worth conducting. We are arguably moving closer to that day"

11. How many people commit Euthanasia a year?
In the Netherlands alone 20,000 and more people die every year by Euthanasia. An exact number has not been counted for the number of deaths caused by euthanasia each year.

12. Who would it affect?
When someone commits Euthanasia it affects a chain of people. The families are effected the hardest thought ,because it is almost like an abortion, but they want to do what they think is best for the well being of the person and family even though it may not be the right thing to do. Friends and community also suffer from this. In some cases though, although you would expect the families to grieve and mourn a lot, they do not because they are less religious and sometimes were not close to that specific individual.

13. Why would someone want to commit euthanasia?
The people who are the ones going to die typically do not want to die, but it happens to be that if they are incompetent the family or if no family, friends, get to make that decision. In most cases families will follow through with the Euthanasia because they wish to get their loved one or friend out of their pain or misery. One major problem with this though is that the family does not always get the chance to get the opinion of the loved one like for example they could be in a coma and on a feeding tube. Another reason that someone would want to commit euthanasia could be for money reasons because they cannot continue to pay hospital bills for loved one that are incompetent and on feeding tubes and expensive medicine. Although Euthanasia is wrong in many cases, we have to consider that the family members think long and hard in most cases before following through with it.

14. Is euthanasia the best way to solve someone’s problem?
There are many different arguments concerning if Euthanasia is the best way to solve someone’s suffering. Many religions are infuriated with euthanasia in general, they fight that murder and euthanasia are the same thing and that no matter if the person wants to die or not it is murder and that god is against murder and suicide. On the other hand some people believe that by committing euthanasia all of their problems will be solved and that since the person dies they will be happier and out of pain. Euthanasia in general, they fight that murder and euthanasia are the same thing and that no matter if the person wants to die or not it is murder and that god is against murder and suicide. On the other hand some people believe that by committing euthanasia all of their problems will be solved and that since the person dies they will be happier and out of pain.

15. Are there different types of euthanasia?
Yes there are different kinds of Euthanasia. Euthanasia is classified into six different categories.
- Voluntary, Active
- Voluntary, passive
- Nonvoluntary, active,
- Nonvoluntary, passive
- Involuntary, active
- Involuntary passive
- Voluntary means that the people have consent that they will die from the action
- Nonvoluntary – means that the person does not know what happens in euthanasia and don’t know what will happen
- Involuntary is when the person who is going to die is against it but cannot do anything about it
- Active means that the reason the person will die will be an exact result from the euthanasia. It comes down to killing the person instead of waiting for them to die
- Passive means that they “let nature take its course” or in other words they let the person die instead of killing them
It is interesting to know that all forms of euthanasia are illegal but is being talked about not treating active any different from passive

16. What is the difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide?
There is not much of a difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide. Euthanasia is intentionally causing the death of another individual, in the motive of trying to benefit the person or protect them from further suffering where assisted suicide is helping a person kill him or herself. The major difference that is noticed between the two is that in assisted suicide the patient has all control of what leads to their death because he or she performs the suicide, where as in euthanasia the patient usually does not have a lot of any say of whether or not they die.

17. Does Euthanasia only affect humans?
No euthanasia affects animals too. Every year cats and dogs are put down by their owners because they believe they are too weak to go on

18. Is euthanasia 100 % against the church?
Euthanasia is looked at to be 100% against the Catholic Church because is clearly says in the bible that God is against any type of murder or suicide. Euthanasia can be considered murder because most of the time the person does not have a say in whether they die or not and, on the other side it can be suicide because if the person wants to die and tells them to “pull the plug” then that can be committed suicide.

19. How long can someone stay on life support?
Someone can stay on life support for an indefinite amount of time.

20. Is choosing death usually more expensive than choosing life for someone who is dying?
End of life care for someone who is dying is usually more expensive than euthanasia.

21. Who should be able to consent to euthanasia if the patient is unable to?
Most people believe that only family should decide when someone is euthanized.

22. How often is euthanasia used in hospitals and hospices?
16% of physicians in the United States say they have received a request for assisted suicide, and 3.3% admit to having prescribed at least one medication to hurry death.

23. How does euthanasia affect the loved ones of the patient?
Families each feel differently about euthanasia – some feel their decision was right, and others feel remorseful.

24. What are common methods of euthanasia?
Common methods of euthanasia are the overdose of pain killers and carbon monoxide poisoning.

25. Has a suicide ever been mistaken as euthanasia?
Voluntary euthanasia can be thought of as a form of suicide, called assisted suicide, but not all assisted suicide is euthanasia.

26. Has a person ever lied about how much pain they’re in so they could be euthanized?
How much pain a person has to have in order to be euthanized is not determined, so it is hard to find out if a person is lying about their pain and if their pain is enough for euthanasia.

27. Has a doctor ever helped a patient commit suicide and disguised it as euthanasia?
A doctor helping a patient to commit suicide is assisted suicide, which can be called euthanasia depending on how euthanasia is defined, so lying about it is debatable. A study on euthanasia in Chicago found that only 34.2 of physicians adhere to euthanasia guidelines, and the patient’s decision was not involved in 15.3% of the euthanasia reports used in the study.

Other facts:

- In 2005, 1122 people were asked is they believed euthanasia should be legal and 45% said yes, 39% said no and 16% were undecided
- People think that if we legalize euthanasia that it would cut our health care cost
- Physician-assisted suicide refers to the ending of life through the voluntary self-administration of lethal medications, expressly prescribed by a physician for that purpose.
- Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia are legal and widely practiced in Colombia and the Netherlands.
- The states of California, Washington, Michigan and Maine have rejected ballot referenda questions to legalize physician-assisted suicide. The Supreme Court of Alaska in Alaska v. Sampson declared there is no state constitutional right to physician-assisted suicide, as did the Florida State Supreme Court in McIver v. Kirscher. The Hawaii State Senate voted down a bill to legalize physician-assisted suicide.
- Active Euthanasia - To end a person's life by use of drugs, whether by oneself or with the aid of a physician.
- Passive Euthanasia - To end a person life by not taking the necessary and ordinary action to maintain life. This can be done by withdrawing water, food, drugs, medical or surgical procedures.
- Physician-Assisted Suicide - Suicide accomplished with the aid of a medical doctor intentionally providing a person with an overdose of prescription medication.
- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1997 in Washington v. Glucksberg that there is no federal constitutional substantive right to assisted suicide. In a 1997 companion case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Vacco v. Quill that there is no federal constitutional equal protection right to assisted suicide.
- Virtually every established medical and nursing organization in the United States declares physician-assisted suicide is unethical.
- 95% of cancer pain is controllable and the remaining 5% can be reduced to a tolerable level.
- As originally used, the term referred to painless and peaceful natural deaths in old age that occurred in comfortable and familiar surroundings. That usage is now archaic. As the word is currently understood, euthanasia occurs when one person ends the life of another person for the purpose of ending the killed person's pain or suffering.
- The Hippocratic Oath explicitly prohibited doctors from giving their patients poisons to end life and thus, traditionally, euthanasia and assisted suicide have not been considered legitimate medical acts.
- Public opinion polls show solid majority support for limited legalization, but the polls also demonstrate that popular support drops significantly when specific details of legislative proposals are examined
- Oregon was a major breakthrough for advocates of assisted suicide but five states have outlawed assisted suicide since Oregon's Measure 16 passed in 1994, and one state passed legislation subjecting a person who assists in a suicide to civil liability
- Euthanasia is one of the most important public policy debates today.
- There are six different kinds of Euthanasia
- After the war in Germany, Hitler allowed mercy killing and he called it the Nazi Euthanasia Program
- Most people do not realize that there is a chance their loved one will come back to life
- There is no euthanasia unless the death is intentionally caused by what was done or not done
- Euthanasia is commonly related to abortion
- In the Netherlands euthanasia and assisted murder are both crimes but if a doctor ends their patients’ lives they will not be prosecuted
- Some people who accept passive euthanasia reject active euthanasia
- One man, Jack Kevorkian is the most conspicuous and practitioner of assisted death in the Unites states, he has been charged with depression, family dynamics, and ignorance of palliative care measures.
- Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands with or without consent of the patient
- People from all over the world will travel to Switzerland to be helped with suicide
- Illegal drugs are taken to Australia and New Zealand to be used for suicide from Mexico
- Allowing people who are not dying to die of dehydration and starvation by withholding fluids is legal in the U. S
- The word euthanasia was first used in a medical context by Francis Bacon in the 17th century

Works Cited

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Articles: - offers a look at pro-euthanasia arguments - arguments for euthanasia - offers unbiased information on euthanasia - doctors being dishonest about euthanasia