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Euthanasia and the Law
A severely handicapped or terminally ill person should have the right to
choose to live or die. The right to live; the right to choose to live or die
should not only be a right allocated for bodied individuals of sound mind but
for all human beings. Euthanasia is a controversial issue which encompasses the
morals, values and beliefs of our society.
Euthanasia, literally defined means "good death". There are two types
of euthanasia, active and passive. Active euthanasia is the intentional killing
of a person by medical personnel either by a lethal injection or by denying
ordinary means of survival. The act of euthanasia called "passive euthanasia",
is committed by denying or withholding ordinary medical care to a patient.
Currently, under Canadian law euthanasia is prohibited. In Holland
euthanasia has been accepted, in principle for terminally- ill patients, on
request. It comes to be seen as practice for those whose "quality of life" is
judged by themselves as worthless. Even though euthanasia is not yet legal in
Holland, it is legally tolerated. Doctors are rarely prosecuted and even more
rarely convicted. If euthanasia were to be decriminalized in Canada certain
restrictions would have to be put into place, to ensure that a patient's rights
are not infringed upon. A living will should be made when the patient is of
lucid mind. Also, a council should be selected and outlined in the living will.
The council should be chosen by the pat...