What is Euthanasia?

pdf-icons.pngFrequently Asked Questions About Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide.


(taken from Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Alex Schadenberg www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca)

  • What is Euthanasia?Euthanasia is the deliberate killing of someone by action or omission, with our without that person's consent, for what are claimed to be compassionate reasons.
  • Assisted Suicide is counseling, abetting, or an act of aiding someone to kill himself or herself.
  • Hospice/Palliative Care is the active total care of patients whose prognosis is limited due to progressive, far-advanced disease; its purpose is to alleviate pain and other distressing symptoms and to enhance the quality of life, not to postpone or hasten death. (World Health Organization)
  • The present law in Canada does not distinguish between euthanasia, and other forms of murder. The key consideration is the intention to cause death. Consent or motive - even one of compassion - does not change the reality of killing a human being.

Assisted Suicide erodes our respect for human life and establishes killing as an acceptable solution to problems that are best solved through caring solutions.


  • There is a growing tendency to promote "mercy killing" as a solution to suffering, pain, aging, mental or physical challenges, social ills, rising health costs and cost containment.
  • Sanctioning of euthanasia and assisted suicide (as in the Netherlands) has led to increased use of euthanasia without consent, circumvention of the law, and abuse of the vulnerable.
  • Advances in hospice/palliative care and pain management methods are threatened when euthanasia and assisted suicide are sanctioned as a means of relieving pain and suffering.
  • The medical profession needs more instruction and the public needs more education, regarding hospice/palliative care and effective pain control.
  • Depression is the most common factor in requests for assisted suicide. Depression can be diagnosed and treated successfully. Requests for assisted suicide are often a call for help.


Further Information

Click here for a printable article about euthanasia and assisted suicide

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