Talk:Voluntary euthanasia

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Start page October 2009[edit]

Page forked from Euthanasia to stop content disputes. Page may need some cleanup after move. If you notice something relating to involuntary euthanasia, move it there. ► RATEL ◄ 15:26, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia[edit]

I've remove the bit about assisted suicide being a type of voluntary euthanasia, as it was contradicted by the sources. The original line stated: "Assisted suicide is a form of voluntary euthanasia where the patient actively takes the last step in their death." There was no specific source for this statement, but the next line, "The term "assisted suicide" is contrasted with "active euthanasia" when the difference between providing the means and actively administering lethal medicine is considered important, though in practice, the distinction can appear very hard to draw" was sourced to Bosshard, G, Jermini, D, Eisenhart, D, & Bär, W, (2003) "Assisted suicide bordering on active euthanasia", Journal International Journal of Legal Medicine, 117:2. The point of that article was to make it clear that certain acts currently being conducted, using a particular case study, are bordering on voluntary euthanasia rather than assisted suicide. However, it seems to me that this presupposes that the two are different things, such that certain acts can be better seen as one rather than the other, although it opens the possibility that there is a gray area between the two. More generally, there is a distinction between the two terms in the literature, in that assisted suicide, per the rest of the line, is where the person takes their own life with help, while voluntary euthanasia is where someone takes the person's life, with their permission. - Bilby (talk) 02:47, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

I am astounded that the first component of a euthanasia article is assisted suicide!!! Voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide are two very very different beasts and there is absolutely no reason for this Wikipedia article to be muddling the two. This article needs major reform. --Tallard (talk) 19:01, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
The lede fails to even mention death! The lede at leasts need to include a minimal definition of the article's name.--Tallard (talk) 19:05, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
LOL, you are joking? I read the word "death" twice in the first sentence. The Banner talk 21:09, 23 October 2012 (UTC)


The state of definitions is a bit of a mess. 'Voluntary euthanasia' is currently used in a lay sense to include both Dutch/Belgian practices (which include both active voluntary euthanasia - an injection) on the one hand and what Americans call 'physician assisted suicide' - provision of lethal drugs), and any 'aid in dying' measures that intentionally shorten life with the patient's express wish (as opposed to Nazi euthanasia or animal euthanasia). These categories are further confused early on by including American examples of 'voluntary euthanasia.'

While many classical studies make various compelling subdivisions, they are not the subdivisions used in the primary country where the practice first became accepted: the Netherlands. The Dutch definitions are enshrined in law and would make a good starting point, followed by the U.S. definitions which only include Physician Assisted Suicide.

Before jumping to an easy division, there are two further obstacles. Assisted Suicide in Switzerland is expressly, and by law, not physician-assisted in the Swiss sense: the doctor is not present except to examine the patient and prescribe the drugs and any assistance is provided by third parties (although the patient must make the final act him/herself). This is a similar situation in some ways therefore to the American system, but the terminology is different.

It is doubtful whether voluntary refusal of eating and drinking should be in the classification at all as it has no legal standing (other than it is legal in almost all countries) and also as it represents a very small proportion - mostly patients who have been refused voluntary euthanasia or assisted suicide.

Any attempts to edit the page in an expert and methodical manner are liable to be disrupted by persons making changes that are technically valid under the Wiki guidelines but that promote agendas rather than move towards consensus. A fairly incontrovertible starting point therefore might surely be the laws of various countries, citing the statutes, and listing the terminology used in each country. A fairly generic and non-technical heading might be needed. "Right to Die" is liable both to semiotic and philosophical objection, but it is the most commonplace accepted heading by the general public and commonly used by both supporters and opponents. It possibly presents less problems that "Assisted Dying" or "Death with Dignit" (two other favourites, and ones that have some usage in legal parlance). Some change is needed, otherwise the page will continue to sink deeper and deepr into semantic argument without providing anything even near an 'encyclopedia style' entry.

Parzivalamfortas (talk) 07:56, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

Much later and it was still a bit confused with the definition of assisted suicide for voluntary euthanasia and no clear definition of the main title. History was unclear and the common reference to Hippocrates an assumption rather than proof that he was referring to euthanasia (he could have used the word and didn't.) I've added some clarifications on definitions and added verifiable historical references on the use of the word. I'm only an occasional wiki editor with very limited time and ask the indulgence of more experienced members if my formatting is not perfect; the data, however, I believe is accurate and hopefully helpful and not to controversial. Parzivalamfortas 18:13, 12 January 2016 (UTC).

After putting in a couple of hours to get some of the page onto an academically sound and verifiable footing, bots have reverted it, perhaps on technicalities. But it is now a mess again. My faith in trying to contribute to wiki is fast waning. Parzivalamfortas 19:17, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Sorry, but euthanasia has its own article. It is of no use to put info about euthanasia in an article about Voluntary euthanasia. The Banner talk 19:45, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Fair enough comment, but wouldn't it be more productive to edit it judiciously, rather than hack it back to a misleading state? You have left "refusal of foods and fluids" as the only item under "definition" of voluntary euthanasia, which it clearly is not. You have reverted a well-supported correction I made to the comment about the Hippocratic Oath, making that paragraph again inaccurate and unscientific. )" Hippocrates mentions euthanasia in the Hippocratic Oath": no, Hippocrates does not, as I demonstrated quite clearly I think. I have tried to give the page some credibility. I think you have hacked it, possibly with best intentions over a technicality, but those technicalities are part of a revision that is needed to all the pages under a similar heading but most particularly this one. Fortunately I preserved the citations and sources, so they can be donated elsewhere even if Wikipedia does not value my attempts with them. Thank you for your reply, even though, as I have said, I think your action was erroneous. Parzivalamfortas 21:47, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Death[edit]

it makes sense that someone liek a cancer patient would want to die painlessly and most of all without having to wstch themselves go downhill. so i think you should i do not know how change the article but please make it in order to make it pro euthanaisa —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.97.164.250 (talk) 23:10, 25 May 2010 (UTC) what people go this is unbelivably horrible and euthanasia should be legalized. plesase make the article like that —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.97.164.250 (talk) 23:33, 25 May 2010 (UTC) it makes a dying perosn feel better when they have some control over what wiull happen to them but it is just so sad.

You may well be right, and certainly the voluntary euthanasia movement has a lot of support. However, on Wikipedia we need to present information from a neutral point of view, so it would be against policy to make this article either pro- or anti- euthanasia. On the plus side, a formal, balanced, neutrally worded and factual article may well allow people to come to the same conclusion as you. - Bilby (talk) 23:42, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

i just feel it is terrible that cancer patients have to go through so much suffering. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.97.164.250 (talk) 23:47, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

I agree. Good palliative care can go a long way towards easing their suffering, and there are alternatives to euthanasia that can help, but cancer is always terrible. I have lost a number of good friends to it, and it was very difficult, although in their cases they did have access to excellent palliative care which was able to help, so that, at least, was something. - Bilby (talk) 00:11, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Euthanasia by country[edit]

I made a new section for Euthanasia by country and I am trying to make the Right to die by country section point to the this page/section but it keeps showing up as a red link. Does anyone know what I am doing wrong? Chursaner (talk) 13:20, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

You used the wrong link (to History) and far too much capitals! It is fixed now. Night of the Big Wind talk 13:35, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Reasons given for voluntary euthanasia[edit]

"Economic costs and human resources: Today in many countries there is a shortage of hospital space. The energy of doctors and hospital beds could be used for people whose lives could be saved instead of continuing the life of those who want to die which increases the general quality of care and shortens hospital waiting lists. It is a burden to keep people alive past the point they can contribute to society, especially if the resources used could be spent on a curable ailment."
The reference for this is Utilitarianism, an article that does not mention the term euthanasia. Does anyone have a real source for this?? Or is any argument valid, no matter the 'fringe' factor? Should we add to the arguments against it the view that people have to suffer to find god (something Mother Therese seemed to think)? DS Belgium (talk) 13:20, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

No, I think that part should be removed of the article. I can not imagine that somebody will use this argument as reason to ask for euthanasia. Night of the Big Wind talk 20:48, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
We need sources. As long as there are sources, and it is not fringe, it can go in. We don't exclude based upon our imagination. Jesanj (talk) 04:04, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't know how much formal argument there has been on the matter, but economic burden plays a role in support for euthanasia (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2782598/ for example).--Jorfer (talk) 15:47, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
What this source states is something completely different then "Economic costs and human resources". I can understand that in the American situation financial reasons can play a part in the decision to ask for euthanasia, but in countries with a proper healthcare program that should not be an issue. So to my opinion, this source does not back up the contested part. I suggest to rewrite the, in fact unsourced, paragraph in such a way that it names the personal financial reasons instead of the wider economic reasons. Night of the Big Wind talk 15:54, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
It's harder to see the personal economic burden when it is shifted to the government as in many European nations, and thus it would be expected to be a less prominent argument there. The formal argument for supporting euthanasia of economic resources is advanced by a minority of supporters (see http://medicine.jrank.org/pages/601/Euthanasia-Senicide-Historical-background.html), however, so questions of whether it is fringe may be brought up, but from this article, the numbers and nature of this support do not appear to be fringe.--Jorfer (talk) 16:20, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
How reliable is that source, giving that the quoted Derek Humphry is a spokesman of the Hemlock Society. Secondly, is there any research done under people who got assisted suicide/voluntary euthanasia about the reasons they requested for it? Night of the Big Wind talk 19:47, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Hoche[edit]

Nazi philosopher Hoche was one of the first to propagate the notion of utilitarianism - ie killing someone was justifiable if it freed up resources for other members of the state. He and Karl Binding are the favourite philosophers of the gentleman responsible for formulating the Liverpool Care Pathway - you can tell that from the fact 60,000 or so consent forms are missing, and so many of its recipients have not been remotely in pain, let alone anywhere near the 'end of life'. 212.139.111.77 (talk) 22:48, 7 January 2013 (UTC)twl22:48, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

This page is not a forum. Do you suggest any changes to the page? The Banner talk 23:30, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Dutch Euthenasic Drugs Include Morphine + Sedative/Benzodiazepine Combinations[edit]

A range of drugs are used to effect euthenasias (voluntary or otherwise) in Holland. The choice varies according to practitioner- in fact, just like the Nazis, they have experimented with an entire range of pharmaceutical combinations. The combination you cite in the article has replaced the morphine + midazolam combinations used a few years ago largely because a) they are faster and b) the practice is now fully legal, so there is no longer a need to disguise the practice by using mainstream,recognisable drugs to make the death appear 'medical'. The formularies for the Liverpool Care Pathway in the UK still use this combination, in unlimited daily doses..the amounts administered are left up to the individual practitioner. 20 mg morphine was sufficient to induce an irreversible coma in Mrs. Renate Overton, Howard Shipman' first victim, so attempts to convince the UK public that the Liverpool Care Pathway is 'reversible' in the wake of the Rusty Lee scandal have been somewhat less than convincing. 'Just in Case' boxes, in which 'anticipatory drugs' for symptom control are left at patient's homes, contain vast excesses of morphine, and no antidote (Naxolone), which I think demonstrates the non-intention of taking anyone off the pathway if they 'improve'. 212.139.111.77 (talk) 23:00, 7 January 2013 (UTC)DrL212.139.111.77 (talk) 23:00, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

This page is not a forum. Do you suggest any changes to the page? The Banner talk 23:31, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

Dignified death[edit]

I've stumbled upon this article - Dignified death. I very much do not think this article deserved to stand on its own as is. I suggest somebody either fleshes it out or redirects/merges it to this article or to Right to die. Just bringing it to the attention of other people - currently only one article links to it. Freikorp (talk) 09:42, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

It is indeed a bad and POV article. However, a dignified death is a hotly debated issue. See for instance Law 'protects right to dignified death'. The Banner talk 12:17, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

References Section[edit]

I would like to recommend removing the Neutral and Viewpoints labels that are currently being used to categorize references. This manner of categorizing sources does not conform with wikipedia standards, and it could lead readers to falsely conclude that sources listed under the Viewpoints section might not also contain information that is Neutral. A perfect example of this is the reference entitled The Right to Die: Understanding Euthanasia (1986) by Derek Humphry and Ann Wickett. Although the authors are in support of voluntary euthanasia, they provide an extensive historical background going all the way back to ancient Rome and ancient Greece. There are numerous examples of previous laws (secular and religious) that either supported or condemned euthanasia along with extensive background information explaining why people have either supported or condemned euthanasia and, if it was supported, under what individual circumstances it was permitted. It also explains how various laws (secular and religious) that either supported or condemned euthanasia developed and evolved through time. In other words, this text is largely a collection of factual historical information. The view of the authors is not so much important as the historical information that they provide. Some of the historical information in this book could just as easily be used by other authors to argue against allowing euthanasia rather than for allowing it.

If content information is added to the article, and that information meets the requirements under Wikipedia:Verifiability and Wikipedia:NPOV, including Wikipedia:RNPOV, Wikipedia:DUE, Wikipedia:BALASPS, Wikipedia:MNA, etc., and is supported with proper citations, then that's enough. Categorizing references as either an exclusively Neutral or Viewpoints reference is inaccurate but also violates Wikipedia:NPOV, because "There's no such thing as objectivity". Crice88 (talk) 17:58, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Section headings[edit]

WP:MOSHEAD "Headings should not refer redundantly to the subject of the article, or to higher-level headings, unless doing so is shorter or clearer. (Early life is preferable to His early life when his refers to the subject of the article; headings can be assumed to be about the subject unless otherwise indicated.)" Editor2020 (talk) 22:43, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

The redundancy is in your mind, not in the article. This is a controversial article where a lot of people tend to deliberately misunderstand things unless it is hammered and nailed in place. You are unhammering and unnailing it...
Your guideline states at the top: Use common sense in applying it; it will have occasional exceptions. This, and other euthanasia-articles, is one of those exceptions. The Banner talk 22:58, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

Edits of Editor2020[edit]

To my opinion, at least some of his edits come close to vandalism. I like a review of his edits. Is a revert necessary? The Banner talk 23:38, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure why you are being so confrontational and not Assuming good faith. I'm just trying to edit the page according to the guidelines provided.

wp:Vandalism "Vandalism is any addition, removal, or change of content, in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of Wikipedia. Examples of typical vandalism are adding irrelevant obscenities and crude humor to a page, illegitimately blanking pages, and inserting obvious nonsense into a page. Abusive creation or usage of user accounts and IP addresses may also constitute vandalism."

"Even if misguided, willfully against consensus, or disruptive, any good-faith effort to improve the encyclopedia is not vandalism. Edit warring over content is not vandalism. Careful consideration may be required to differentiate between edits that are beneficial, detrimental but well-intentioned, and vandalizing. Mislabelling good-faith edits as vandalism can be considered harmful."

I'm definitely not doing that. Editor2020 (talk) 23:51, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps, but I have seen too many Guideline-warriors waving with guidelines for everything they do.. That is why I ask the opinion of other people about the content of your edits. The Banner talk 00:08, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

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European History[edit]

Under the History section, it would be ideal to have a general historical overview of voluntary euthanasia versus focusing so heavily on European history. The section should also be expanded to provide more detailed information pertaining to history. The United States history that was mentioned appears to be somewhat vague, and not clear on what "era" is being mentioned and what particular laws were passed (names, links to these laws, etc.). The post war subsection could be omitted, as it is only providing information about voluntary euthanasia post-war in Europe, and that information would be better off under the By country section under the appropriate country. Under the subheadings by country is neat and organized at first glance, does not expand in excess nor are extremely short. Although coverage is needed for countries not listed, the existing summaries are sufficient and any additional details should be put into that country's stand alone euthanasia page. The section Arguments for or against is a great idea to provide major points of view, but has a slight emotional tone e.g. "It is a burden to keep people alive past the point they can contribute to society" and could be viewed as an interpretation rather than documenting facts on the major points of view, which could infringe on one of Wikipedia's Five Pillars that discusses having a neutral point of view. Expansion on the meaning and definition of voluntary euthanasia will improve and strengthen this article as a stand-alone article. The assisted suicide section should be replaced with just a short explanation of similarities, differences and the relationship of assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia, rather than is appearing as a "type" of voluntary euthanasia. I will admit the two subjects are very similar and the differences are not exactly outlined in independent research that I have conducted. Statistics relating to how often voluntary euthanasia is performed would strengthen the article and provide more validity on the topic's existence and relevancy.

Good luck (to whoever posted the above). The page has hardly any internal consistency. I tried to make a start at tidying it up. It's a subject I've lectured on at post-graduate level so I think I have a reasonable idea and am capable of providing an unbiased comment. That is no authority for a Wiki article I know, but I spent about an hour doing it and am not going to put an even more detailed contribution in just to have it slapped down (deleted), and it is one of those pages with a lot of 'slapping down' for various reasons I think. So unless some high-up wiki editor with the academic background and knowledge of wiki politics and rules wants to attempt it, it will probably stay a mess. 82.39.78.48 (talk) 00:54, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

Annotated Bibliography[edit]

Admiraall, Peter. Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide. Rep. Franklin College, 2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2016. This piece introduces a detailed explanation of what euthanasia and assisted suicide is. It also gives a point of view from the Netherlands, this welcomes more opinions other than those of only Americans.

“Euthanasia (The Practice of Morality).” University of Tennessee Martin. 01 Jan. 2015. Web. 19 Feb. 2016. http://utm.edu/staff/jfieser/class/160/6-euthanasia.htm>. This piece gives many different distinctions of euthanasia and assisted suicide. It also gives percentages of people’s opinions on the matter. It lists ethical issues, and public policy issues in a neutral manner. It lists pros and cons, the liberal point of view, and a common middle ground.

Fraser, and Walters. “Death- Whose Decision? Euthanasia and the Terminally Ill.” Journal of Medical Ethics. 2000. Web. 19 Feb. 2016. http://jme.bmj.com/content/26/2/121.full This article is interesting because it talks about physician’s opinions, liberty, justice, democracy, religious liberty and family autonomy. It is interesting to read about so many different approaches to the matter.

Lee, William, Annabel Price, Lauren Rayner, and Matthew Hotopf. “Survey of Doctors’ Opinions of the Legalization of Physician Assisted Suicide.” BMC Medical Ethics. BioMed Central, 05 Mar. 2009. Web. 19 Feb. 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2673229/ This is a well-documented and credited survey of doctor’s opinions. The survey was given on neutral grounds and did not influence the doctor’s opinions one way or another.

Young, Robert. “Voluntary Euthanasia.” Stanford University. Stanford University. 16 Dec. 2014. Web. 19 Feb. 2016. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/euthanasia-voluntary/ This scholarly article lists five conditions often proposed as necessary for candidacy for voluntary euthanasia. It also lists the moral permissibility of voluntary euthanasia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Doengesm (talkcontribs) 23:40, 19 February 2016 (UTC)



Vézina-Im, L. A., Lavoie, M., Krol, P., & Olivier-D’Avignon, M. (2014). Motivations of physicians and nurses to practice voluntary euthanasia: a systematic review. BMC palliative care, 13(1), 1. This article focuses on assessing physicians’ motivations for performing voluntary euthanasia, rather than just merely assessing attitudes toward voluntary euthanasia. The study suggested that physicians would be more motivated to participate in voluntary euthanasia if the physicians were familiar with euthanasia, if there were no depressive symptoms associated with the patient, and the patient was terminally ill. This study could complement the medical ethics section of the Wikipedia article, and add discussion regarding physician motivations for practicing voluntary euthanasia.

Shah, A., & Mushtaq, A. (2014). The right to live or die? A perspective on voluntary euthanasia. Pakistan journal of medical sciences, 30(5), 1159. This source mentions the argument that voluntary euthanasia that is only allowed with strict conditions (e.g., only terminally ill) could lead to a “slippery slope,” where there is a gradual lessening of said strict conditions, such as terminal individuals getting euthanized without consent. Some of this discussion could be included in the medical ethics section with advocacy against euthanasia.

Lewis, P. (2007). The Empirical Slippery Slope from Voluntary to Non‐Voluntary Euthanasia. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 35(1), 197-210. This article discussed that many arguments surrounding the slippery slope argument with voluntary euthanasia mention how the Netherland’s fared with the legalization of voluntary euthanasia. This article argues that there exists no evidence from the Netherlands that the legalization of voluntary euthanasia resulted in an increase in non-voluntary euthanasia. Discussion from this article could help on a few sections of the Wikipedia article, such as the euthanasia in Europe, medical ethics, and arguments for euthanasia.

White, B. P., Willmott, L., & Savulescu, J. (2014). Voluntary palliated starvation: A lawful and ethical way to die? Journal of law and medicine, 22, 376-386. This source discusses the idea of “voluntary palliated starvation,” which is the refusal of food and drink, but with the accessibility of palliative care to alleviate pain. The physician is not directly inducing death, but numbing the pain of an individual who chooses to die. Such information could be added underneath the refusal of food and drink on the voluntary euthanasia Wikipedia article, as palliated care was not exactly mentioned.

Randall, F., & Downie, R. (2010). Assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia: role contradictions for physicians. Clinical medicine, 10(4), 323-325. This source discusses many potential contradicting arguments regarding ethics and voluntary euthanasia. It also mentions the evolution and changing of moral attitudes about euthanasia. Some of this information could be included in the history section of the Wikipedia article on voluntary euthanasia. (Jernig13 (talk) 04:23, 23 February 2016 (UTC))

A new lead section[edit]

Voluntary euthanasia is the practice of ending a life in a painless manner. Voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide have been the focus of great controversy in recent years. Voluntary refusal of foods and fluids or Patient Refusal of Nutrition and Hydration is bordering on euthanasia. Some authors classify it as a form of passive euthanasia, while other treat it separately because it is treated differently from legal point of view and often perceived as a more ethical option. VRFF is sometimes suggested as a legal alternative to euthanasia in jurisdictions disallowing euthanasia.

Assisted suicide is different from voluntary euthanasia in that it is a practice in which a person receives assistance in bringing about their death, typically people suffering from a severe physical illness, in which the final step in the process is actively performed by the person concerned. Assisted suicide is contrasted with voluntary euthanasia when the different between providing the means and actively administering lethal medicine is considered important. For example, Swiss law allows assisted suicide while all forms of active euthanasia (like lethal injection) remain prohibited.

Since the 19th century, euthanasia has sparked intermittent debates and activism in North American and Europe. Since World War II, the debate over euthanasia in Western countries has centered on voluntary euthanasia within regulated health care systems. In some cases, judicial decision, legislation, and regulations have made voluntary euthanasia an explicit option for patients and their guardians. Euthanasia brings about many ethical issues regarding a patient’s death. Some physicians say euthanasia is a rational choice for competent patients who wish to die to escape unbearable suffering. Others feel that aiding in the patient’s death goes against a physician’s duty to preserve life.

During the 20th century, efforts to change government policies on euthanasia have met limited success in Western countries. Euthanasia policies have also been developed by a variety of NGOs, most notably medical associations and advocacy organizations. As of 2009, some forms of voluntary euthanasia are legal in Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Doengesm (talkcontribs) 19:31, 24 February 2016 (UTC)



Voluntary Euthanasia is the practice of intentionally terminating a life in a painless matter, at a patient’s request, to relieve unbearable physical suffering. Often mistaken for assisted-physician suicide, voluntary euthanasia, with the consent of a competent patient, involves a doctor who carries out the act of ending the patient’s life; whereas in assisted-physician suicide, a doctor provides assistance by prescribing lethal drugs to person to self-administer, thereby terminating his or her own life.

Much research differentiates between active and passive euthanasia, where active euthanasia typically involves the deliberate aiding in the death of a patient, while passive euthanasia typically involves the neglecting or refusal of necessary measures to save a life [1]. An example of active euthanasia could be administering a lethal drug to a patient, while passive euthanasia could include removing life support. Many ethical arguments surround the concept of euthanasia, and some place different moral significances among action versus neglect.

One form of voluntary euthanasia is voluntary palliated starvation, which involves the refusal of food and drink while receiving palliated care to help mitigate the painful symptoms of starvation [2]. Voluntary palliated starvation has been argued, in some circumstances, to be a potential loophole for many legal and ethical concerns. It could be argued that it is ethical to provide palliative care to lessen the suffering of an individual who chooses to refuse food and drink [3]. Research has found that death by starvation and dehydration may not necessarily involve much pain or discomfort if controlled appropriately. [4].

Perspectives of voluntary euthanasia vary geographically. Euthanasia is legal in Australia, The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and Colombia [5]. Moral views of voluntary euthanasia have sparked reluctance with the general public, and more importantly, the medical community. Research has shown important factors for a physician or nurse to be motivated for performing euthanasia, and physicians are most motivated when there is a familiarity with euthanasia, the patient has no depressive symptoms, and the patient has a short life expectancy [6]. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jernig13 (talkcontribs) 03:51, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Gert, B., & Culver, C. M. (1986). Distinguishing between active and passive euthanasia. Clinics in geriatric medicine, 2(1), 29-36.
  2. ^ White, B. P., Willmott, L., & Savulescu, J. (2014). Voluntary palliated starvation: A lawful and ethical way to die? Journal of law and medicine, 22, 376-386.
  3. ^ White, B. P., Willmott, L., & Savulescu, J. (2014). Voluntary palliated starvation: A lawful and ethical way to die? Journal of law and medicine, 22, 376-386.
  4. ^ White, B. P., Willmott, L., & Savulescu, J. (2014). Voluntary palliated starvation: A lawful and ethical way to die? Journal of law and medicine, 22, 376-386.
  5. ^ http://www.life.org.nz/euthanasia/euthanasialegalkeyissues/global-euthanasia-laws/
  6. ^ Vézina-Im, L. A., Lavoie, M., Krol, P., & Olivier-D’Avignon, M. (2014). Motivations of physicians and nurses to practice voluntary euthanasia: a systematic review. BMC palliative care, 13(1), 1.
Sorry, this page is for discussions about the article, not the subject itself. Could you make clear what you propose as new lead?
You are both here as part of Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/Michigan State University/IAH 209 Autopsy (Spring 2016)? The Banner talk 09:05, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
Peer Review
First off, I think you did a wonderful job citing all of the information you contributed to the article. It seems you have done a great amount of research and have really contributed overall to the successfulness and integrity of the article. I also believe you did a wonderful job structuring your sentences and presenting the information thoroughly and in an unbiased way; this is something I plan on concentrating on when preparing for my final draft. If I were to concentrate on one thing to focus on when doing future edits within your article it would the word choice, phrases such as "many perceive" or "in many countries" leave me wondering who are those "many"? If possible, I would try to add some names and/or sources for that information. I feel small changes like these, throughout the whole article, would make the article more presentable as an encyclopedia based information source and would help the reader get all of the information they could. Overall, I agree with your edits and think you have done a great job incorporating your additions to the article. Haberme3 (talk) 02:55, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

Edits of the History Section[edit]

The term euthanasia comes from the Greek words “eu”-meaning good and “thanatos”-meaning death, which combined means “well-death” or “dying well”. In ancient Greece and Rome, before the coming of Christianity, attitudes toward euthanasia, and suicide had tended to be tolerant. Many ancient Greeks and Romans had no defined belief in the value of individual life, and pagan physicians performed frequent abortions as well as both voluntary and involuntary mercy killings. [1] Hippocrates mentions euthanasia in the Hippocratic Oath, which was written between 400 and 300 BC. The original Oath states: “To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death.” Although the Hippocratic Oath prohibits doctors from giving ‘a deadly drug to anybody, not even if asked for,; or from suggesting such a course of action, few ancient Greek or Roman physicians [2] believed that life needed to be preserved at any cost and were, in consequence, tolerant of suicide in cases where no relief could be offered to the dying.

From the 12th century to the 15th century Christian views on euthanasia reinforced the Hippocratic Oath. The dominance of Christianity, with it’s view that human life is a trust from God, reinforced the views of the Hippocratic Oath [forbidding euthanasia]. By the 12th through 15th century, it concluded in near unanimity of opinion of medical professionals in opposing euthanasia. [3]

Jewish and Christian thinkers have opposed euthanasia as inconsistent with the human good and with responsibilities to God. In the 13th century, Thomas Aquinas adopted Catholic teachings about euthanasia in arguments that would shape Christian thought about euthanasia for centuries. Aquinas condemned euthanasia as wrong because it conflicts with one’s duty to oneself and the natural desire of self-perpetuation; because it injures other people and the community of which the individual is a part; and because it violates God’s authority over life, which is God’s gift. This position exemplified attitudes about suicide that prevailed from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance and Reformation. [4]

English Common Law from the 14th century until the middle of the last century made suicide a criminal act in England and Wales. Assisting others to kill themselves remains illegal in that jurisdiction. However, in the 16th century, Thomas More (1478-1535) is often quoted as being the first prominent Christian to recommend euthanasia in his satirical book Utopia, where the Utopian priests encourage euthanasia when a patient was terminally ill and suffering pain [but this could only be done if the patient consented]. “…if a disease is not only distressing but also agonizing without cessation, then the priests and public officials exhort this man…to free himself from this bitter life…or else to permit others to free him…” [5] [6]

In the 17th century, common law traditions prohibited euthanasia and assisted suicide in the American colonies. For over 700 years, the Anglo American common law tradition has punished or otherwise disapproved of euthanasia and assisted suicide, the early American colonies adopted this common law approach. In 1647, the legislators of the Providence Plantations, which would later become Rhode Island, declared that ‘[s]elf murder is by all agreed to be the most unnatural, and it is by this present Assembly declared, to be that, wherein he doth it, kills himself out of a premeditated hatred against his own life or other humor…his goods and chattels are the king’s custom.’” [7]

Through the 17th and 18th century, Renaissance and Reformation writers challenged the church’s opposition to euthanasia. No serious discussion of euthanasia was possible in Christian Europe until 18th century Enlightenment. Writers assaulted the church’s authoritative teaching on all matters, including euthanasia and suicide. While writers challenged the authority of the church with regard to ethical matters, there was no real widespread interest in the issues of euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide during that time. [8]

In the late 18th century, American evangelical Christians rejected suicide and voluntary euthanasia. Enlightenment toleration of euthanasia proved to be temporary. Under the leadership of the evangelicals, a religious counterattack gained momentum as the late 18th century drew to a close. The various waves of religious revivalism, starting with the Great Awakening of the mid-1700s, prevented secularists and agnostics on either side of the Atlantic Ocean from generating popular support for taking one’s life. These events dovetailed with the Second Great Awakening of intense evangelical fervor in the first years of the 19th century and strengthened the condemnation of suicide and euthanasia that stretched back to the earliest days of colonial America. [9]

The rejection of suicide and euthanasia remained firm, even after many of the new states decriminalized suicide in the wake of the Revolutionary War. The majority of Americans rejected euthanasia’s common law punishment, no matter how sympathetic they were toward the suicide’s family, most Americans stopped far short of condoning self-murder. As late as the antebellum period there existed in the United States a firm consensus against euthanasia, suicide and mercy killings. [10] Doengesm (talk) 17:45, 4 April 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Dowbiggen, PhD, Ian (2003). A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. 
  2. ^ Dowbiggen, PhD, Ian (2003). A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. 
  3. ^ Manning, MD, Michael (1998). Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide. Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press. ISBN 0-8091-3804-2. 
  4. ^ New York State Department of Health. "When Death is Sought". New York State. 
  5. ^ More, Thomas (1519). Utopia. Thomas More. 
  6. ^ ProCon.org. "Historical Timeline of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia". ProCon. 
  7. ^ "Washington v Glucksberg". CaseBriefs. 
  8. ^ Manning, MD, Michael (1998). Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide. Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press. ISBN 0-8091-3804-2. 
  9. ^ Dowbiggen, PhD, Ian (2003). A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. 
  10. ^ Dowbiggen, PhD, Ian (2003). A Merciful End: The Euthanasia Movement in Modern America. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. 

I think you did an excellent job expanding on the article. One aspect that needed more information was a more global perspective on voluntary euthanasia and you have definitely expanded on that! One thing I was thinking might improve the article is to remove the religion section. There is a lot of religious aspects in your history section and it may be unnecessary. Another option instead of removing the religion section might be to elaborate on the modern day religious considerations of voluntary euthanasia. Otherwise great start! Swineha9 (talk) 19:53, 10 April 2016 (UTC)Swineha9

To my opinion, this text is unacceptable as it is far too "American". The Banner talk 20:48, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
I agree with 'The Banner'. Moreover you are relying much too heavily on Ian Dowbiggin, an outspoken antieuthanasia activist with religious motivations. Ratel (talk) 03:05, 11 April 2016 (UTC)