Assisted Suicide, Euthanasia, and Gender

Assisted suicide refers to the intentional providing of means and/or information to enable a person’s suicide. Physician’s aid-in-dying is an alternate term used to dissociate this method of death from suicide. Euthanasia occurs when someone deliberately implements the means that end a person’s life, with the presumed intention of ending that person’s suffering. Assisted suicide and euthanasia are types of hastened death. Euthanasia can be voluntary (when it is requested), involuntary (when it is against the person’s will), or nonvoluntary (when consent was not sought and/or not obtainable). Some distinguish active from passive euthanasia, with the latter defined as the withholding of life-supporting treatments. Yet others consider the withholding of life-supporting treatments as simply allowing a person to die, not a type of euthanasia.

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