The first thing we have to do before entering fully into the analysis of the term that concerns us now is to establish its etymological origin. In this sense, we find that it comes from the Greek and specifically from the sum of two words: eu, which can be translated as “good”, and tanathos, which is equivalent to “death”.
The euthanasia is the action or omission that accelerates the death of a terminally ill patient with the intention of avoiding suffering. The concept is associated with death without physical suffering.
Specifically, we can establish that there are two types of euthanasia. Thus, on the one hand, there would be the so-called direct euthanasia, which is the one that defines the process of anticipating the death of a person who has an incurable disease. In this case, in turn, it can be divided into two classes: active, which basically achieves the death of the aforementioned patient through the use of drugs that are lethal; and the passive, which is the one that consists of the attainment of the death of that one by means of the suspension so much of the medical treatment that it had like of its feeding by any means.
On the other hand, the second great type of euthanasia is the indirect call. Under this terminology is one that does it is to try to alleviate the pain and suffering of the person in question and for this a series of medications are supplied that as an unintended consequence can cause the death of said person.
The doctors are responsible for carrying out euthanasia, usually with the support of the family members of the sick in question. There are cases, however, where the patient is in a position to choose over his own Body and requests the application of euthanasia. This practice, however, is prohibited in most countries.
Euthanasia stirs up all kinds of ethical debates. Its defenders assure that it avoids the suffering of the person and that rejects artificial prolongation of life leading to situations that are unworthy. The detractors, on the other hand, consider that no one has right to decide when the life of others ends.
One of the best known international cases of euthanasia was that of the Spaniard Ramón Sampedro, who at the age of 25 was left quadriplegic due to a bad fall from a rock into the sea. He lived in a bed ever since and always asked to die with dignity. He needed help to achieve this death and devised a plan that led him to achieve his goal without any of the people who had helped him commit a crime.
It should be noted that, throughout history, euthanasia has been used as an excuse to achieve the elimination of social groups. Nazism promoted the euthanasia of the handicapped or disabled as inferior and on the grounds of being a compassionate act.
This situation means that there are subjects who support euthanasia, but as long as it is consented to by the patient. In this way the application against the will is avoided. This is not the case, however, of comatose patients who cannot speak out in any way, either for or against euthanasia. The same is true in the case of newborns.