Should Euthanasia be legalised in Australia? Essays

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The term Euthanasia is derived from the Greek roots, taking the words ‘eu’, meaning good or well, and ‘thanatos’, meaning death, to create the term “good death ”. (Definition of Euthanasia . 2011) The term ‘Euthanasia’ is not defined specifically within Australian Legislation, however the generalised definition states that Euthanasia is intentionally taking another person’s life by the means of a direct action or depriving a person of the medical care needed to preserve life. (Euthanasia: What Does It Really Mean? Date Unknown). Linda Jackson (2005) continues to add that Euthanasia can then be further separated into four specified categories: Passive voluntary euthanasia, active voluntary euthanasia, passive involuntary euthanasia and …show more content…
This Act was overturned by the Federal Parliament of Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act 1978 in 1997. (Human Rights and Euthanasia, 2011). This was the only legislation to actually pass within Australia despite many other states attempting to introduce Bills involving potential Euthanasia laws.

Euthanasia is a highly controversial topic and a highly contendable argument; thus various aspects of society and numerous stakeholders must be taken into consideration when arguing one side or another. One of the most influential viewpoints on this particular issue is religious views. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics: Religious Affiliation (2007), 68% of Australians belong to a Christian based religious group. Considering the large percentage of Christians within Australia, this viewpoint that cannot be ignored and must be included with serious consideration. The issue that arises from the perspective of religious persons is that the act of euthanising a person challenges particular beliefs within various religions, particularly around the general area of suicide and more notably, the notion of “playing god”. Many religious groups have similar opinions surrounding the act of killing and suicide as a sin against God.

Christian, Catholic and Lutheran religions state similar views that the life God gives you is a gift and thus should be preserved. (Euthanasia and Christanity: Christian Views of Euthanasia and Suicide. 2011)

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