Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate January 2002

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EUTHANASIA Euthanasia, which is usually called "mercy killing" means that you intentionally make someone die, instead of them dying naturally. In other words, euthanasia is killing in the name of compassion. There are two types of euthanasia, active and passive. Active euthanasia is when you directly do something to cause a person's death. For example, when a doctor gives you a lethal injection, that causes you to die, is active euthanasia. Passive euthanasia is when you permit someone to die, but don't directly take their life. For example, when a doctor gives someone pills that would cause them to die, but doesn't actually force them to take the pills is passive euthanasia.

When people die with euthanasia it is mainly because they want to die with dignity. But there is absolutely nothing dignified about the way these people are being killed. Jack Kevorkian mostly kills his "subjects" by carbon monoxide gas and that certainly isn't dignified.

Many people that die as a result of euthanasia do not want to be hooked up to life-saving machines. However, there is a law that allows the patient to decide whether they are going to be hooked up to these machines or not. Hospice is one organization that makes the patient comfortable in their last days.

Some people think that because the government doesn't legalize euthanasia they are making people suffer. However, this is totally wrong. The government should not have the right to let doctors or other people kill others. When and if euthanasia is legalized it is like giving a person the right to kill. If the law were passed it would not give the right to the person being killed, but to the person who kills.

When people are dying of a terminal illness it is thought that they are more...