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Euthanasia is a highly debated subject in todays society Philosophers argue whether assisting a persons death is morally right and whether the government should prohibit the practice The key issues behind these arguments involve the nature of the action and the instances in which it occurs The range includes passive voluntary euthanasia on one end of the spectrum and active involuntary euthanasia on the other As the law stands right now in most states any type of euthanasia is illegal The philosophers protest against a paternalistic government while the government argues the right to protect the sanctity of life However all these issues have no depth when it comes to the Jewish view on euthanasia According to Jewish law a life is on loan to a person from God To assist in someones death to knowingly kill someone or to take ones own life are all contrary to Jewish law and by that regard are not morally permissible Euthanasia is defined as mercy killing Essentially when we discuss euthanasia we mean the act or practice of ending an individuals life in order to release him from an incurable disease intolerable suffering or an undignified death This definition raises many important questions however From a moral standpoint is it morally permissible to bring about the death of a terminally ill patient Do we even have the right to a dignified death Are we the best judges of what constitutes intolerable suffering These questions are commonly debated through the breakdown of euthanasia into four distinct categories First non-voluntary passive euthanasia occurs when the patient does not actually request to die rather a trustee of some sort makes the request In addition no act of killing takes place such as a gunshot or stabbing but a patient is simply taken off life-support or not attached to it in the first place Essentially the doctor lets the patient die The next type is called voluntary passive euthanasia This
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