Essay by shadystyleCollege, UndergraduateA+, January 2006

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Euthanasia is a highly debated topic in the world of ethics due to the nature of the procedure, and alongside the ethical debate comes a legal debate as well. Euthanasia can be literally translated to mean "good death". Euthanasia is ideally utilized in order to expedite the death process for terminally ill patients in order to allow them to pass over any suffering that they may endure. It has been termed "assisted suicide" by many, although Euthanasia has also been considered to be the process through which brain dead patients are released from life support. There are two main types of Euthanasia; passive euthanasia which refers to the withholding or withdrawing of certain treatment and allowing a patient to die and active euthanasia which refers to using certain death-causing means to bring about the death of a person. The practices of euthanasia as mentioned should be legalized in the United States and practiced under a strict adherence to specified rules and regulations, most importantly being written and/or oral consent of the patient.

There are specific circumstances in which patients may be able to make a logical and informed decision regarding whether or not they wish to continue with current treatments for a terminal illness they suffer from. Discontinuing the necessary medication is considered among many to be passive euthanasia. This, however, is a generally accepted practice in society. It is not prohibited by law in any way, and in a recent survey up to 96% of doctors admits to having withheld patient treatment for one reason or another. However, the topic of active euthanasia, most recognized through the famous work of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, is a highly controversial.

Unfortunately, it is not realistic for some people to be spared physical and mental suffering due to conditions they may...