Euthanasia (from the Greek εὐθανασία meaning "good death": εὖ, eu (well or good) + θάνατος, thanatos (death)) refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering.
There are different euthanasia laws in each country. The House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics of England defines euthanasia as "a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life, to relieve intractable suffering". In the Netherlands, euthanasia is understood as "termination of life by a doctor at the request of a patient".
Euthanasia is categorized in different ways, which include voluntary, non-voluntary, or involuntary. Voluntary euthanasia is legal in some countries and U.S. states. Non-voluntary euthanasia is illegal in all countries. However, in the Netherlands, physicians can avoid prosecution by following well described and strict conditions. Involuntary euthanasia is usually considered murder.
Euthanasia is the most active area of research in contemporary bioethics.
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