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It is a controversy so complex and powerful that it perforates not only the core of societys public policy but individual ethical and moral principle It is a soul searching burden placed upon the minds and hearts of all into the depths of the integrity of quality of life and the sanctity of death It is the issue of physician-assisted suicideThis unpleasant inevitable dilemma of balancing the right and wrong of physician-assisted suicide is met by many with great anguish Many medical professionals view PAS as jeopardizing the boundaries of their field Many patients and families hold the view that it allows for an autonomous death Religious doctrines are entangled into the controversial web of the pros and cons of PASPlacing to one side the fears and guilt associated with the issue of PAS along with the legal ramifications perhaps a better understanding of the basic concept of PAS would aide in the balancing process that has to be met before one can accept or reject PAS Euthanasia is an easy death or means of inducing one and as the act or practice of putting to death persons suffering from incurable conditions or diseases Humber Almeder and Kasting 75 Passive euthanasia differs from active euthanasia in that one allows nature to take its own course of natural death and the other is the direct killing of a patient Involuntary euthanasia is an act which the patient does not give consent to When a competent individual gives consent and approval then the act is voluntary euthanasiaThe concept of PAS dates back to ancient Greece during fourth or fifth centuries BC The belief of the majority then was that assisting seriously ill patients in committing suicide was acceptable only if the patient asked for it Weir vi PAS was a means of escaping suffering and painful illness that resulted in death However as far back as the fifth century BC in ancient Greece not all agreed Many
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