Merciful killing is known as euthanasia. It is the act of ending someone’s life to end his or her pain and suffering.
History of euthanasia
Euthanasia is a Greek word and it has a quite ancient history. The first case of euthanasia dates back to Roman history when Augustus Caesar got his merciful and easy death and known as euthanasia in history. Concept of euthanasia was then incorporated in the medical practice and people with terminal illness were considered worthy of euthanasia than suffering from the painful and cureless disease for the last days of their lives. In Sparta, all the newborn children especially boys were killed by euthanasia if any congenital illness was found in them. Since then, scholars have always been found in a debate on whether euthanasia is ethical or not. For instance, Plato was in its favor and Pythagoras was totally against the idea of euthanasia.
Euthanasia in Modern world
Concept of euthanasia does exist in the modern world in one form or another. However, it is not encouraged to be practiced on humans. It is now considered as gentle but criminal homicide by consent of the patient.
Types of euthanasia
There are many forms of euthanasia.
- Voluntary euthanasia
The most common form of euthanasia is voluntary euthanasia. It is performed by the full consent of the patient. In fact, voluntary euthanasia is practiced on a patient’s request. Some critically ill patients who lose the hope for cure often ask for gentle death than living in misery.
- Involuntary euthanasia
It does not involve the consent of the patient. In fact, the patient is against the decision, but he is forced to death decided by anyone else. This is a pure crime and punishable by law if proved.
- Non-voluntary euthanasia
Euthanasia in case the patient is not available or unable to consent. Usually, relatives of terminally ill patients who are in prolonged comma, opt for euthanasia. Parents of a minor can also consent for non-voluntary euthanasia.
Euthanasia in critically ill pets
Critically ill animals who are suffering from serious and incurable diseases are also considered for euthanasia. Putting their lives to an end especially in animal shelters is quite common. People who have a pet at their homes if get sick is also bring their pet to the animal shelters for euthanasia.
Methods of pet euthanasia
Most common methods by which animal euthanasia is practiced are;
- Cardiac arrest caused by the intravenous anesthetic drugs, for example, barbiturates or phenylbutazone.
- Inhalational drugs for example isoflurane are also used for the purpose of euthanasia in animals.
- Shooting the animal
- Cervical dislocation just like hanging in animals to break the joint between atlas and axis vertebrae
Pet euthanasia consent form
Before doing the actual act, it is necessary that a legal document is filled for pet euthanasia. A pet euthanasia form is filled in which information about the pet is mentioned and his cause for euthanasia. The owner of the pet has to sign the consent form only then euthanasia in pets can be practiced.