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Most people die what may be called a bad death One study found that more often than not patients died in pain their desires concerning treatment neglected after spending 10 days or more in an intensive care unit The word Euthanasia originated from the Greek language eu means good and thanatos means death One meaning given to the word is the intentional termination of life by another at the explicit request of the person who dies It implies that the act must be initiated by the person who wishes to commit suicide However some people define euthanasia to include both voluntary and involuntary termination of life Like so many moralreligious terms euthanasia has many meanings The result is mass confusion A distinction is frequently made between active and passive euthanasia Active euthanasia occurs when a physician or someone else in authority acts directly to cause the patients death A well known example was the mercy killing in 1998 of a patient with Lou Gehrigs Disease by Dr Kevorkian a Michigan physician His patient was frightened that the advancing disease would cause him to die a horrible death in the near future he wanted a quick painless exit from life Dr Kevorkian injected controlled substances into the patient thus causing his death Charged with 1st degree murder the jury found him guilty of 2nd degree murder in 1999 On the other hand passive euthanasia occurs when there is an abstention from interventions that may keep the patient alive and letting nature take its course Some forms of passive euthanasia are the removal of life support equipment the termination of medical proceduresmedications the stoppage of food and water and allowing the person to dehydrate or starve to death and the non-delivery of CPR Perhaps the most common form is to give a patient large doses of morphine to control pain in spite of the likelihood that the pain-killer will suppress respiration
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