In the following video, Wesley J. Smith discusses the topic of physician-assisted suicide and the current push for legalization. Smith beautifully explains, with historical and contemporary examples, why this is a terrible idea that only leads to the killing of vulnerable people whom we owe love, treatment, and hope.
Key Terms and Definitions
Euthanasia — The intentional taking of a human life for the purpose of relieving pain or suffering. Euthanasia may be either voluntary (i.e., at the request of and with the consent of the individual who will die) or involuntary (i.e., request and/or consent was not given), and either passive (i.e., removing medical intervention that results in the person entering the dying process) or active (i.e., causing death through direct action or intervention, such as providing a lethal dose of medication).
Physician-Assisted Suicide — A type of voluntary passive euthanasia in which a doctor provides information about how to commit suicide or proscribes means that allow the patient to terminate their own life.
Right-to-Die — The concept and political movement that claims individuals have the right to terminate their own lives either through suicide or euthanasia.