Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The death of euthanasia?

Date:
March 29, 2010
Source:
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Summary:
It is time to discard the word euthanasia because it mixes ideas and values that confuse the debate about dying, states an editorial.

It is time to discard the word euthanasia because it mixes ideas and values that confuse the debate about dying, states an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

"The end of life debate seems particularly burdened by confusion over the term 'euthanasia'," writes Dr. Ken Flegel, Senior Associate Editor and Dr. Paul Hιbert, Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Both sides use it to further their ideological views: one side says murder, the other mercy; the right to live versus the right to die with dignity; selfishness versus compassion."

The term, euthanasia, is from the Greek and was coined in 1646. It was intended to mean a gentle and easy death. A nuance was introduced, by 1742, referring to the means of bringing about such a death and, in 1859, to the action of inducing such a death. Modern dictionaries have a variety of definitions, but they all imply the same meaning, an intentional action to bring about death in someone who is suffering.

"Euthanasia's broad meaning has inadvertently enveloped a set of actions that also involve the relief of symptoms in dying people," write the authors. "For example giving enough narcotic to relieve pain in cancer patients and adding enough sedation to enable comfort and minimize agitation is appropriate and compassionate care, even when the amounts required increase the probability of death. It can be argued that, in such circumstances, death becomes an acceptable side-effect of effective palliation. But, in our view, it is not euthanasia."

Physicians can help by not using "euthanasia" to refer to actions taken to assist dying patients and instead, can clearly name and define each action as well as its possible repercussions.

"As physicians, we should promote honest debate; assist in defining actions and terms; avoid further polarizing this important debate with our own values and ideologies, and help educate the public to increase engagement in this very important societal issue, "conclude the authors. "Then 'euthanasia' can experience its own gentle death."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Canadian Medical Association Journal. "The death of euthanasia?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329123311.htm>.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2010, March 29). The death of euthanasia?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329123311.htm
Canadian Medical Association Journal. "The death of euthanasia?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329123311.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) — Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) — Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) — Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) — Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins