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What Is Euthanasia? (In Which Countries Is Euthanasia Legal?)

Former Dutch prime minister Dries van Agt ended his life through euthanasia with his wife Eugenie. After the event, which was also talked about a lot on social media, research on the term euthanasia started. So, what is euthanasia and in which countries is it legal?

Euthanasia: The termination of a person’s or animal’s life through painless or minimally painful lethal injection, high doses of medication, or removal from life support because the person’s life is considered unbearable.

The practice of euthanasia: Euthanasia can also take other forms, such as passive euthanasia, where a person’s treatable but fatal infectious disease is left untreated, leading to the passive death of the person. Different types of euthanasia are subject to different legal requirements.

Active And Passive Euthanasia

Basically, active and passive euthanasia is practiced.

Active euthanasia involves direct administration. The lethal substance is administered directly to the patient for whom rescue treatment is impossible.

Passive euthanasia is indirect, in which the machines that keep the patient alive are switched off or the administration of temporary or partial therapeutic medication is stopped, with no treatment other than pain relief.

Is Euthanasia Legal?

While passive euthanasia is generally legal in many countries under different conditions, active euthanasia is illegal in most countries. Physician assisted suicide, which is often discussed under the heading of euthanasia, is generally illegal, but legal in the US states of Washington, Oregon, Montana and Vermond.

Illegal In Turkey

Active euthanasia is illegal in Turkey. According to the current Turkish Penal Code No. 5237, the perpetrator (physician) who euthanizes a patient is tried according to the provisions of premeditated manslaughter and sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment. In some countries, although euthanasia is illegal, the perpetrator of euthanasia is not punished.

In Which Countries Is Euthanasia Legal?

Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are the countries in the world where euthanasia is legal. The Netherlands is the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia. In the Netherlands and Belgium, it is even practiced for children over the age of 12. Spain has recently joined these countries. After Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Canada, Colombia, Australia and New Zealand, Spain became the 8th country to legalize euthanasia.

Etymology And Meanings

From French euthanasie or English euthanasia “to kill a person in order to spare them suffering”. This word is from the Ancient Greek euthanasía “good death”. The Greek word is a compound of Ancient Greek “good, auspicious” and Ancient Greek thánatos “death”.

Mücahid Ahlatçı

Hi, I'm Mucahid. I am a writer for Expat Guide Turkey and I strive to create the best content for you. To contact me, you can send an e-mail to info@expatguideturkey.com. Happy reading!

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