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5 bytes removed, 19:37, 30 June 2007
'''Euthanasia''' is the deliberate termination of the life of a disabled or terminally ill person, for instance in order to end unbearable suffering. Under Anglo-American law all forms of euthanasia are illegal. Most religious leaders see euthanasia as murder.
Most [[libertarians]], many [[liberals]] and (particularly in [[Europe]]) some [[conservatives]] support legalization in some circumstances of ''voluntary euthanasia'', i.e. the termination of a dying patient's life upon his/her own explicit request. Voluntary euthanasia has been legalized in the [[Netherlands]], [[Belgium]], [[Switzerland]] and the US state of [[Oregon]]. Legalized euthanasia has limitations on when it may be used, such as the approval of a number of physicians when a terminally ill patient suffers from excruciating pain. Opponents of euthanasia maintain that this rarely constitutes an obstacle, as in practice all it requires is a few physicians to authorize it, and that legalization thus violates the [[sanctity of human life]]. They also fear legalization could be a slippery slope, leading to the planned termination of all life that is "unworthy", as in the [[Nazis]]' program to kill the mentally and physically handicapped. Proponents of legalized voluntary euthanasia, on the other hand, feel that a complete ban would unnecessarily prolong the suffering of some terminally ill patients and thus contravene the teachings of the [[Gospels]]. They believe that the rule of law in democratic societies would prevent prevents excesses such as the euthanasia program in Nazi Germany.
The widely reported withdrawal of a feeding tube from the disabled and comatose [[Terri Schiavo]], with a court order prohibiting anyone from bringing her water, is an example of euthanasia.