They are fast becoming cliches, a sure indication that the debate is deteriorating further from rationalization to imprecision: "quality of life," "withhold nutrition and fluids," "death with dignity," "assisted suicide," "heroic measures," "passive euthanasia
," "surrogate," "extraordinary care," and so on.
A smaller sampling by the Los Angeles County Medical Association found that, of 200 doctors polled, 40 percent said they supported the initiative, 42 percent said they were not opposed to active euthanasia and half said they participated in passive euthanasia
The medical and legal meaning of terminal illness has already been expanded in the United States by professional societies, legislatures, and courts in the context of so-called passive euthanasia
. A Uniform Rights of the Terminally Ill Act proposed by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 1986 defines a terminal illness as one that would cause the patient's death in a relatively short time if life-preserving treatment is not provided--prompting critics to ask if all diabetics, for example, are "terminal" by definition.
Let us begin with the most easily justifiable class of cases, passive euthanasia
, in which death occurs in the course of treating a terminally ill person by forgoing potentially life-prolonging measures.
The confusing term "passive euthanasia
" has been dropped in official documents.
Even though the distinction between active and passive euthanasia
is unclear and problematic (conceptually and morally, as well as psychologically), most people in Sweden probably recognize that passive euthanasia
is practiced from time to time, and are inclined to accept it.
Indeed, living will legislation that would have permitted only passive euthanasia
was rejected by the National Assembly in 1978.
For the one positive to come from this desperate soul's devastated life is that her landmark case ushered passive euthanasia
onto India's statute books.
In 2014, the doctors, backed by Lambert's wife Rachel, five of his siblings and his nephew Francois decided to stop his nutrition and hydration in line with France's passive euthanasia
Landman  argues that PAS 'may cause no more harm than the withholding or withdrawal of life support' or treatment--a form of passive euthanasia
that is deemed morally acceptable in SA.
He differentiated active euthanasia, "in which life is ended by direct intervention, such as giving a patient a lethal dose of a drug," from passive euthanasia
, in which death results "from withdrawal of life-support systems or life-sustaining medications." But he suggested that there was little "moral" distinction between a deliberate act of omission, when death is the goal or purpose, and a deliberate act of commission.