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).

Related Articles


"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 April 24, 2015 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 April 24, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Friday, April 24, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dispute Flares Over Controversial Thai Temple Tigers

Dispute Flares Over Controversial Thai Temple Tigers

AFP (Apr. 24, 2015) — Thai wildlife officials begin a headcount of nearly 150 tigers kept by monks at a temple which has become the centre of a dispute over the welfare of the animals. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Judge OKs 65-Year Deal Over NFL Concussions

Judge OKs 65-Year Deal Over NFL Concussions

AP (Apr. 23, 2015) — A judge has approved a potential $1 billion plan to resolve thousands of NFL concussion lawsuits filed by retired players. The NFL expects 6,000 of nearly 20,000 retired players to suffer from Alzheimer&apos;s disease or moderate dementia someday.(April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New DoD Strategy Warns of Cyberwar Capabilities

New DoD Strategy Warns of Cyberwar Capabilities

AP (Apr. 23, 2015) — A new Pentagon cybersecurity strategy lays out for the first time publicly that the U.S. military plans to use cyberwarfare as an option in conflicts with enemies. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama's Earth Day Talk Highlights Climate Divide

Obama's Earth Day Talk Highlights Climate Divide

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2015) — The president&apos;s visiting the Florida Everglades on Earth Day to talk about climate change in a state whose governor has doubted its existence. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

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