- Active euthanasia: Informed specific steps are taken to cause the patient's death through the introduction of certain medications.
- Passive euthanasia: Withdrawal of medical treatment, e.g. life support or medications with the intention of causing the patient's death.
- Voluntary euthanasia: The patient takes the decision to end his life.
- Involuntary euthanasia: Due to the person's incapacity to give consent, the decision is taken by someone else.
- Assisted suicide: Here, a doctor does not administer provides medical treatment to end the patient's life. He however makes it available to the patient.
There are two main schools of thought. The first believe in the doctrine of sanctitity of life. Life is sacred and one shouldn't take what he can't give no matter the circumstance. An argument against euthanasia is that even people who are not terminally ill will ask for it. Suicide could as well be legalized. It would become a means of saving money. People would be quick to choose saving money over caring for the patient.
The second believes in the doctrine of quality of life. They advocate that life should be worth it. Also, a life in a poor state as a result of old age, terminal illness, etc, does not deserve being watched to linger in agony. Rather than watch a patient in acute pain, give him a painless death (euthanasia). An argument for it is that it is expensive to keep treating a terminally ill patient. Why waste money, emotions and time over someone that would die? The government or relatives can use the resources on some other "important" matters. Another is that euthanasia is a dignified way to die as against watching a person have a painful, gruesome and slow death. Then why keep a person alive when you're told, even if he pulls through, he'll be a "vegetable"?
Now that I've given a general background, what school of thought do you belong to? Me? I don't think it will be easy to give up. I also know living with, or watching a loved one live with, pains is difficult. We'll never be put in a situation where we'll have to choose. Amen. I hope to read and learn from your views.
If you're anti-euthanasia and would love to reach out to and show love to the terminally ill, please contact me. My lecturer who is very passionate about it heads an NGO that supports the terminally ill. I would also give details as to the related activities coming up next month. Thanks for reading :* Anuoluwapo.