Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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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." (Definition of Euthanasia by the Netherlands State Commission on Euthanasia.) Like so many moral, ethical, and religious terms, "euthanasia" has many meanings. The term euthanasia is an act that must be initiated by the person who wishes to commit suicide. However, some people define euthanasia as both voluntary and involuntary termination of life. The result is mass confusion.

People have many different reasons for wanting to end their life by committing suicide. Usually these people have been diagnosed with a degenerative, progressive illness such as ALS, Huntington's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, AIDS, or Alzheimer's disease. They fear a gradual loss of the quality of life in the future as the disease or disorder progresses.

Some people are severely depressed over a long interval. To them, suicide may be a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Another reason for people's involvement in Euthanasia is always being in excessive pain. Some people are even using this act in order to protect their love ones. They have a terminal illness and do not want to diminish their assets by incurring large medical costs as their death approaches. As an act of generosity, they would rather die sooner, and pass on their assets to their beneficiaries. The list goes on and on dealing usually with the person's emotional state.

There are two types of Euthanasia consisting of passive and active. Passive Euthansia consists of hastening the death of a person by altering some form of support and letting nature take its course. This can be done by: Removing life support equipment (e.g. turning off a respirator), stopping...