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Definition of assisted death

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The technological revolutions of the last decades have brought the human being to a level of technical sophistication never seen before. However, technical advances in fields such as medicine, in many cases do not go at the same speed as moral or ethical advances.

We are often faced with unforeseen dilemmas, ethical problems that appear to us and that we had not taken into account. The limits of cloning, the use of transgenders or spatial contamination are some of these ethical-scientific paradoxes. But if there is a debate that arouses expectation, with highly polarized positions, it is the one that revolves around assisted death and euthanasia.

At FastlyHealwe bring you this article to clarify the concepts and to be able to take part, conscientiously, in the debate about what assisted death is and how it should be.

What is assisted death

Assisted death is understood to be the process by which one person helps another to achieve their goal of dying prematurely, either by advising them on the methods to follow, or by providing them with poison, medication or deadly instruments to carry out that decision.

This fact raises legal problems since depending on the country, the local authorities may understand that death as a homicide or as a suicide, therefore, the person who helps in the death of the other could be held responsible for it. .

Given that in the vast majority of cases these are people with terminal illnesses, for whom there is no solution or treatment and for whom only a progressive physical and mental deterioration awaits, there is a complex moral and religious debate about the convenience or not to legalize these practices.

Difference between assisted death and euthanasia

Although they are different, it is quite common for people to confuse these two concepts, believing that they are the same phenomenon. To clarify the meaning and characteristics of each one, below we are going to explain the differences between euthanasia and assisted death .

The basic difference between assisted death and euthanasia is consent , who is the moral executor of the action. For assisted death, it is a sine qua non condition that the medical staff provide the patient with all the necessary information about the process and the effects of the medication that the patient must take to die. Given that in most cases the patient who requests it is not yet unable to move, it is he himself who takes the medication and decides when to do it.

On the other hand, euthanasia occurs in those cases in which the patient is so depleted that he is not able or able to make a decision, there is no possible communication between patient and doctor, since the first, either by remaining in a plant state Either because he is unconscious due to illness or medication, he is not able to decide for himself. In these cases, it is the doctor himself or the family himself who decides to end the life of the patient, many times, following a previous request from the patient.

There is a third concept, related to these two, which is that of orthothanasia . Unlike the previous ones, this does not seek to anticipate the death of the patient, it simply advocates a dignified death, without the need to artificially extend life , but simply aspires that the patient be treated with palliative so as not to suffer and be able to die in peace .

The Assisted Death Debate

The decision to end their life in a controlled and medically assisted manner, in the vast majority of cases, usually comes from patients who either suffer a terminal illness that, with all certainty, will plunge them into states of pain or of physical and mental deterioration or they are already in an irreversible phase of the disease and prefer to die rather than endure the pain


There are many people who consider assisted death as an act of humanity , who understand the fact of helping someone die in a dignified way who knows that the disease is going to deteriorate them enormously as something that cannot be renounced.

The favorable ones speak of the right to their own life and their own death, and that someone who wants it must be able to end their life in a legal, correct and humane way, without having to be obliged to spend the last months of their life. life between pain and agony, his and his.


On the other hand, those who oppose a regulation of assisted death usually do so based on religious positions , affirming that the gift of life is given by God and only he is legitimized to give and take life. In addition, in religions such as Christianity and especially in Catholicism, pain is seen as something positive, purifying.

The controversy appears when the patient wants to end his life but the doctor and family insist on lengthening it and continuing with treatments that, surely, it is known that they will not work, from here we can raise many questions with multiple Answers, who should have the right to decide on the death of someone? To what extent should society strive to keep alive someone who will not survive much beyond?

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Definition of assisted death , we recommend that you enter our Medical Dictionary category .

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