Euthanasia is the name of a process of helping a terminally ill person die painlessly. Euthanasia, otherwise known as assisted suicide or mercy killing, is considered an illegal act in the United States. Usually euthanasia is done by administering a lethal injection consisting of drugs that are also used on death row inmates when they are executed.
The issue of euthanasia is a hotly contested issue. There are many who say that quality of life is a big factor and is in the heart of the issue. But others contend that preserving life must be of paramount importance over other considerations and factors. The debate has touched on both the moral and legal ramifications of assisted suicide. Euthanasia supporters say that the church and the state do not have any kind of right to dictate or interfere on how a person should die and on his right to die. But opponents of euthanasia say that it is only God that has the authority to decide when a person should die.
One group that has been quite vocal in their support for euthanasia is the Hemlock Society. They believe that euthanasia should be allowed and it should be afforded to patients who expressed a desire to die. The issue of euthanasia is a very polarizing issue. Rarely is there fence sitting on this particular issue and the debate between the supporters and opposers of euthanasia rages in all fronts, with religious groups and most medical professionals expressing their opposition to it.
One of the events that brought euthanasia to public attention was the trial of Dr. Jack Kevorkian in the late 90s. He was sentenced to up to 25 years in prison for assisting in the death of Thomas Youk.