Euthanasia (from Greek: εὐθανασία; "good death": εὖ, eu; "well" or "good" – θάνατος, thanatos; "death") is the practice of intentionally ending a life to relieve pain and suffering.
There are different euthanasia laws in each country. The British House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics defines euthanasia as "a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life, to relieve intractable suffering". In the Netherlands and Belgium, euthanasia is understood as "termination of life by a doctor at the request of a patient". The Dutch law however, does not use the term 'euthanasia' but includes it under the broader definition of "assisted suicide and termination of life on request".
Euthanasia is categorized in different ways, which include voluntary, non-voluntary, or involuntary. Voluntary euthanasia is legal in some countries. Non-voluntary euthanasia (patient's consent unavailable) is illegal in all countries. Involuntary euthanasia (without asking consent or against the patient's will) is also illegal in all countries and is usually considered murder. As of 2006, euthanasia is the most active area of research in contemporary bioethics. In some countries there is a divisive public controversy over the moral, ethical, and legal issues of euthanasia. Passive euthanasia (known as "pulling the plug") is legal under some circumstances in many countries. Active euthanasia however is legal or de facto legal in only a handful of countries (ex. Belgium, Canada, Switzerland) and is limited to specific circumstances and the approval of councilors and doctors or other specialists. In some countries such as Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, support for active euthanasia is almost non-existent....LESS
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian state parliament's marathon debate on allowing voluntary euthanasia abruptly ended on Friday unresolved after a lawmaker collapsed in his office. Victoria, Australia's second most populous state, is in the final stage of a parliamentary debate that could legalize doctor-assisted suicide 20 years after the country repealed the world's first mercy killing law.
WATERVILLE, Maine (AP) — The executive director of a shelter in Maine where two pit bulls disappeared after being ordered euthanized has resigned. Lisa Smith resigned two days after the dogs went missing from the Humane Society Waterville Area.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian state took a step toward allowing voluntary euthanasia on Friday, 20 years after the country repealed the world's first mercy killing law. The Victorian Legislation Assembly passed a euthanasia bill by 47 votes to 37 after a passionate debate lasting almost 26 hours.