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ASSISTED SUICIDE or euthanasia On July 26 1997 the US Supreme Court unanimously upheld decisions in New York and Washington State that criminalized assisted suicide As of April 1999 physicians-assisted suicide is illegal in all but a couple of states Over thirty states have established laws prohibiting assisted suicide and of those who dont have statues a number of them prohibit it through common law In Michigan Jack Kevorkian was initially charged with violating the state statue He was charged with first-degree murder and delivering a controlled substance without a license The assisted suicide charge was dropped however he was eventually convicted of second-degree murder and delivering a controlled substance without a license Only one state Oregon has legalized assisted suicide The Oregon law which went into effect in October 1997 provides that a doctor may prescribe but not administer a lethal dose of medication to a patient who has less than six months to live As of April 1999 23 patients were given the drugs under the statue and 15 of them used the drugs to commit suicide A report released by the Oregon State Health Division found that the law was working well and had not been subject to abuse REED A9 The word Euthanasia originated from the Greek language eu means good and thanatos means death The term euthanasia normally means that the person who wishes to commit suicide must initiate the act WORLD BOOK However some people define euthanasia to include both voluntary and involuntary termination of life Euthanasia has many meanings so it is important to differentiate among the vaguely related terms These meanings of terms were cited from George Lundberg MD in Views of Assisted suicide Involuntary Euthanasia This term is used by some to describe the killing of a person in opposition to their wishes It is basically a form of murder and not a popular view among most people Passive Euthanasia Hastening the death of
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