Living with dying

Information - Euthanasia

Euthanasia is used by many to mean 'mercy killing' but the word (from Greek) literally means 'good death' or death without suffering.  

There are many definitions of euthanasia, such as 'a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life to relieve intractable suffering'.

Euthanasia is not the same as allowing nature to take its course or the stopping of treatment when the burdens outweigh the benefits. 

Euthanasia does not mean palliative care, nor is it part of palliative care or hospice treatment. 

As the law stands at present, you cannot request euthanasia through your Advance Decision and it is illegal in the UK (see section Advance Decisions and Thoughts on suicide and euthanasia).

Last reviewed July 2017.
Last updated July 2017.
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