Cohen, Joachim End-of-Life Care Research Group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Ghent University, Brussels, Belgium.
Chambaere, Kenneth End-of-Life Care Research Group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Ghent University, Brussels, Belgium.
Last reviewed:January 2019
- Etymology and history
- Legal status worldwide
- Safeguards and recommended drugs
- Ethical pros and cons
- Euthanasia practice in numbers
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
An active and intentional act or practice of putting to death, in a relatively painless way, of persons suffering severely from medical conditions that are incurable, untreatable, or irreversible. Euthanasia is an act by a person, usually a physician or other health care provider, actively and intentionally to end another person's life by some medical means, such as a lethal injection, at that person's explicit request (see illustration). Notably, the definition of euthanasia excludes passive decisions, such as withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining or life-prolonging treatments, which have often been termed cases of passive euthanasia; however, this is a misnomer. Similarly, nonvoluntary euthanasia and involuntary euthanasia, which are often-used terms for the act of administering lethal drugs without the patient's explicit request, constitute misnomers. By definition, euthanasia is active and voluntary. In addition, it is an act or practice that raises bioethical and legal issues. See also: Bioethics; Critical care medicine; Death; Disease; Medicine
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information