Euthanasia is a type of assisted suicide (where one person helps another person to take their own life). There are a number of reasons why people choose Euthanasia; if they have a very serious debilitating illness, which stops them having a reasonable quality of life, if they are terminally ill with something which will cause a very slow and painful death, they may wish to end their lives peacefully, and in the manner of their own choosing. Recently the parents of a young man helped him to end his own life because he had been paralyzed from the neck down and he felt he could not face life anymore.
Euthanasia is NOT the same as suicide, for it to be euthanasia the person who dies must have had a very poor quality of life, or be unable to live with dignity. Euthanasia is about ending the suffering of an individual who WILL NEVER GET BETTER. (Someone who is depressed for example may have a very poor quality of life and want to commit suicide, but depression is generally only a temporary, treatable condition). EUTHANASIA IS ILLEGAL in most countries, AS IS ANY FORM OF ASSISTED SUICIDE.
In the Netherlands, where their attitude towards life and death is far more enlightened; they have ‘euthanasia clinics’ where you can end your life with peace and dignity. The legality of euthanasia in the Netherlands is causing many individuals to travel their in order to take their own lives, in a calm and peaceful manner. Since their own countries deny them any right to do so. Since many people may suffer accidents which leave them in a coma, or paralyzed, perhaps unable to communicate, many people are now choosing to make ‘living wills’.
These are similar to the legal documents used to divide up your property after you die, but a ‘living will’ states what you want to be done if you are ever terminally ill, permanently suffering, but unable to communicate your wishes (or if doctors are unable to act on what you say because they think you may not be in your right mind). Euthanasia can be in many forms, by painless lethal injection, tablets, or just ‘pulling the plug’ on a life support machine. Only ‘voluntary euthanasia’ is euthanasia. There is arguably no such thing as ‘involuntary’ euthanasia. Involuntary’ euthanasia would almost always be regarded as murder (or at least manslaughter), even in countries where euthanasia is legal. Always consult somebody who knows the laws of your country well whenever the law is concerned. Don’t make any sort of decision based on what a stranger on the internet has said. Don’t trust wikipedia, unless you have the time to check all the sources and citations yourself. User generated content should never be taken as a matter-of-fact, especially on such a serious topic as this one. P/S: The thing about ‘euthanasia’ being the name of the drug they use to put animals to sleep is nonsense.
Similarly, there is no drug called ‘euthanasia’ which is used to euthanize people, this is further nonsense. Also; killing an animal which is terminally ill or in great suffering may be considered ‘euthanasia’ but killing an animal just to make room at the pound is DEFINITELY NOT EUTHANASIA. This is just a very cruel system which many animal rescue centers have little choice but to implement. Thanks. Hope this info is useful to you. This website (BBC) has some very good legal information and moral discussions on the topic. Good reading if you still want to know more.