Explain what is meant by active euthanasia and passive euthanasia, and why some people might want euthanasia.
Basic meaning of euthanasia – good death.
Active euthanasia: someone must actively do something to bring about the death of the person requesting euthanasia – e.g. give overdose, smother.
Passive euthanasia: This is ‘letting die’ – someone must not do something that would keep the person alive – withdraw treatment / food / drink, not resuscitate, turn off life support, not carry out a possibly life-saving operation or give life-saving drugs.
Students may mention / explain that some argue that the distinction between these two is false.
Students may consider why people might want euthanasia for themselves and/or for others
• Unbearable quality of life, even when not terminally ill – e.g. a 23 yr old rugby player paralysed from neck down.
• Quality of life of the terminally ill – they may want to bring death about more quickly than it would otherwise happen, but this may be only a few days / weeks / months.
• Dignity in dying – very…