Euthanasia term papers and essays pg.2

Euthanasia, also sometimes referred to as "mercy killing", refers to the intentional termination of a life, with the ostensible goal of relieving pain and suffering.  Long performed on animals, euthanasia as performed on human beings came into the forefront of common knowledge as a result of the notoriety of Dr. Jack Kevorkian.  Now deceased, Kevorkian spent eight years in prison in the early 2000's for his role in what he called "physician-assisted suicide".  According to Kevorkian and his philosophical adherents, human beings have the right to die with dignity.  Kevorkian championed the cause of those who, afflicted with a terminal illness, would prefer to pass away quickly and easily, precluding pain, suffering and undue dependence on others.  Voluntary euthanasia is legal in some U.S. states and some countries around the world and is performed in a variety of ways.  When it comes to method, a discrepancy is made between euthanasia and assisted suicide.  Euthanasia may be performed by an injection, but assisted suicide may be performed via a physician prescribing pills for the express purpose of overdose, but the patient's taking of the pill is considered suicide rather than euthanasia.  Carbon monoxide and suffocation by plastic bags are also methods that have been used to purposely shorten life.  The practice of euthanasia is a highly controversial issue since many believe that life is so sacred that only God has the right to take it, regardless of the quality of the life.