Euthanasia is the practice of ending an individual's life in order to relieve them from an incurable disease or unbearable suffering.
The term euthanasia is derived from the Greek word for "good death" and originally referred to as “intentional killing” ( Patelarou, Vardavas, Fioraki, Alegakis, Dafermou, & Ntzilepi, 2009).
Since then, the controversy over active euthanasia has remained an ethical dilemma for healthcare providers, patients and their family members in America and the rest of the world.
The general public’s belief is that, health-care providers have professional obligations to save the lives of their patients regardless of their health status.
Along with birth control and gender reassignment surgery, euthanasia remains one of the most discussed medical issues in the world.
Those in the healthcare sector grapple with this notion on a daily bases because they have to practice under the codes of ethics guidelines.
Nurses and doctors should be cautious in their practice as they balance the patient’s autonomy and their professional ethics and guidelines.
However, the proponents for euthanasia claim that a physician turning down a suffering patient’s request to end their life is also a violation to the “do no harm” oath (Siu, 2008).
The right to die falls under patient’s autonomy and the basic question is whether individuals should be allowed to end their lives if they choose to do so (Sanders & Chaloner 2007).