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Word Count: 804
Euthanasia Euthanasia is the practice of mercifully ending a persons life in order to release the person from an incurable disease intolerable suffering or undignified death The word euthanasia derives from the Greek for good death and originally referred to intentional mercy killing When medical advances made prolonging the lives of dying or comatose patients possible the term euthanasia was also applied to a lack of action to prevent death There are three practices that are involved with Euthanasia The first one is voluntary or active euthanasia where the person asks to be killed This involves painlessly putting individuals to death for merciful reasons as when a doctor administers a lethal does of medication to a patient The second practice that is involved with Euthanasia is involuntary This concerns the killing of persons who cannot express their wishes because of immaturity such as a newborn infant mental retardation or coma Here is it decided by others that that person would be better off dead The third practice is passive euthanasia where the patient is killed by withdrawing some kind of support and letting nature takes its course For example this would include removing life support or stopping medical procedures It also includes not delivering CPR cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and allowing a person whose heart has stopped to die Many people fail to differentiate between euthanasia and assisted suicide In euthanasia one person does something that directly kills another For example a doctor gives a lethal injection to a patient In assisted suicide a non-suicidal person knowingly and intentionally provides the means or acts in some way to help a suicidal person kill himself or herself For example a doctor writes a prescription for poison or someone hooks up a device and than instructs the suicidal person how to use it to kill him or herself Euthanasia has been accepted in some forms by various groups or societies throughout history In ancient Greece and Rome
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