What Is Euthanasia?
Euthanasia refers to the process of mercifully ending someone's life. For example, if someone has a terminal condition, or if they are in severe pain, euthanasia might be performed to bring a swift and painless end to their life. During the past few years, euthanasia for people has gotten a bit more attention. Traditionally, this is a procedure that is performed on animals that are sick or injured. For example, if a human owner knows that their pet is in severe pain, they may bring the pet to the veterinarian to be put down. This type of phrasing is used to describe euthanasia. Euthanasia on human beings is unusual.
How Does Euthanasia for Animals Work?
Generally, euthanasia for animals is a two-drug procedure. If you bring your animals to the veterinarian, the vet will confirm that you are ready to put down your pet. Then, the veterinarian will administer a medication that is designed to put the animal to sleep. That way, the animal does not feel any pain. Then, the veterinarian will administer a second medication. The second medication is designed to stop the animal’s heart. Because the animal is already asleep, he or she should not feel any pain. There are some situations where the animal could be so weak that the first drug is enough to stop the heart. In this case, the second medication might not have to be administered at all. The veterinarian will use a stethoscope to confirm that the heart has stopped.
In What States Is Euthanasia Legal in the United States?
It is important to understand that euthanasia is illegal under federal law. Typically, this phrasing is used to refer to the idea of a doctor helping someone with assisted suicide. In all situations, this is illegal. On the other hand, there are several states that allow people to die with dignity. States that allow this type of procedure include Oregon, Washington DC, Hawaii, the state of Washington, Maine, Colorado, Vermont, New Jersey, and California. The exact way this law is written varies from state to state. Therefore, it is important for people to talk to a doctor or a lawyer in their specific state to figure out what is legal and what is not.
What Is Physician-Assisted Suicide?
When people talk about physician-assisted suicide, they are talking about something that is slightly different than euthanasia. In physician-assisted suicide, the physician will provide his or her patient with the medical supplies and prescription medications necessary to help that person and his or her life by suicide. This is considered homicide in a lot of locations throughout the country, and it is still illegal. Even though there has been some debate about the morality of this issue, the medical community is generally opposed to physician-assisted suicide as well. Furthermore, most of the medications that could be used to kill someone are tightly controlled, so if a physician tries to prescribe medications that can be used to commit suicide, the prescription is likely to be flagged.