• The painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and
painful disease or in an irreversible coma.
• Mercy killing to prevent a prolonged and painful death.
• From the Greek “ευθανασία” meaning “good death”.
• It is also known as:
- Physician Assisted Suicide
- Physician Aid in Dying
- Mercy Killing
- Imposed Death
It is currently illegal in most locations.
Karen’s Story:
Our friend Karen has been personally affected by the illegalization of
euthanasia. Growing up, her father had been her protector, her teacher, her
guiding light, her truest friend. Together, they had the classic “daddydaughter” relationship. She regarded her father with the utmost respect; he
was her hero. He taught her the patience to learn how to ride a bike, the
courage to make friends, and the self confidence to trust herself. He provided
his daughter with lessons and advice that she would never forget.
Unfortunately, their time together was much shorter than it should have been.
Her father had been diagnosed with cancer. As time progressed, his condition
steadily worsened. He was clearly not the same person that he had once been;
his personality and physique had become unrecognizable. Karen could do
nothing but stand by and watch her hero’s life slowly slip away. He was
undoubtedly suffering. Her mother, with the power of attorney, selfishly
refused to let her husband die in peace. She believed that he should fight for
his life. The suffering continued. Before long, both of her father’s legs had
been amputated and his condition had become vegetative. He continued to
suffer. After what seemed like an eternity for him, Karen’s father passed on
March 25, 2011. Had euthanasia been legal in Illinois, her father would
not have had to suffer the way he did and peace would have been an
option for him.
Types of Euthanasia:
• Voluntary- The person wants to die and says so. This includes:
- refusing medical treatment
- asking for medical treatment to be
- asking for life support to be switched off
- refusing to eat
• Non-Voluntary- The person cannot make a decision or cannot
make their wishes known. This includes:
- coma patients
- child and infant patients
- severely brain damaged patients
- senile patients
Types of Euthanasia (cont.):
• Involuntary- The person wants to live but is killed anyway. This includes:
patient being refused a life sustaining treatment
drugs being too costly
a limited supply of organs for a transplant
patient being on a long waiting list
• Active- the medical professionals, or another person, deliberately do
something that causes the patient to die.
• Passive- the patient dies because the medical professionals either don't
do something necessary to keep the patient alive, or when they stop
doing something that is keeping the patient alive. This includes:
- switching off life-support machines
- disconnecting the feeding tube
- not carrying out a life-extending operation
- not giving the patient life-extending drugs
Euthanasia in the Media:
Here is a popular clip from the movie “Million Dollar Baby”, please
watch as it displays euthanasia to a broad spectrum of people.
(Permission was obtained for the usage of this video)
The media has recognized euthanasia as an issue. In order for the
public to accept it, they first must be exposed to it. This is a step in
the right direction.
Importance of Euthanasia:
“As human beings, we are endowed with the freedom of choice, and we cannot
shuffle off our responsibility upon the shoulders of God or nature. We must
shoulder it ourselves. It is our responsibility.” - Arnold J. Toynbee
If we are free to make the our own choices of how to live, we should also be able
to make our own choices of how to die. The power belongs to the patient.
Debilitating illnesses, such as cancer, are currently on the rise. The more people
diagnosed with these illnesses directly correlates to the number of people faced
with the euthanasia issue.
Please watch this video as it demonstrates our beliefs:
was obtained
for the usage of
this video)
Legal Euthanasia outside of the
Assisted suicide is currently legal in the Netherlands,
Belgium, and Luxembourg.
Legal Euthanasia within the US:
Assisted suicide is currently legal in the states of Oregon,
Washington, and Montana.
The Netherlands:
• In 1984 the Dutch Supreme Court ruled voluntary euthanasia
was acceptable, provided doctors followed strict guidelines.
• In the fall 2000, the Dutch parliament voted to formally legalize
the practice, making the Netherlands the first nation in the
world to do so.
• The Belgian parliament legalized euthanasia in late September
• It became the second country in the world to legalize
• The country's parliament passed a bill legalizing euthanasia on 20
February 2008 in the first reading with 30 of 59 votes in favor.
• On 19 March 2009, the bill passed the second reading, making
Luxembourg the third European Union country, after the Netherlands
and Belgium, to decriminalize euthanasia.
• Terminally ill people will be able to have their lives ended after
receiving the approval of two doctors and a panel of experts.
• This is the first state in the United States to legalize euthanasia. In
1994, voters passed the Death with Dignity Act (DWDA) with a
majority vote. This became effective in 1998.
Oregon (cont.):
• Conditions:
- The person must be terminally ill.
- The person must have six months or less to live.
- The person must make two oral requests for assistance in
- The person must make one written request for assistance in
- The person must convince two physicians that he or she is
sincere and not acting on a whim, and that the decision is
- The person must not have been influenced by depression.
- The person must be informed of "the feasible alternatives,"
including, but not limited to, comfort care, hospice care, and
pain control.
- The person must wait for 15 days.
• In 2008, the electorate of the state of Washington voted
in favor of Intiative 1000 which made assisted suicide
legal in the state through the Death with Dignity Act.
• On December 5, 2008, state District Court judge Dorothy
McCarter ruled in favor of a terminally ill resident who
had filed a lawsuit with the assistance of Compassion and
Choices, a patient rights group. The ruling states that
competent, terminally ill patients have the right to selfadminister lethal doses of medication as prescribed by a
We want Illinois to join this list.
Our Mission:
• According to Code Section 755 ILCS 35/9 and 45/4-8e, “Nothing in
this Act shall be construed to condone mercy killing or to permit any
affirmative or deliberate act or omission to end life other than to
permit natural process of dying.”
• In essence, euthanasia is prohibited in Illinois under the general
homicide laws.
• We want this law changed.
Steps We Have Taken:
• As a group, we strongly believe that euthanasia should be legalized.
In order to see this happen we have each signed a petition
(http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/legalize-activeeuthanasia.html). We have sent this presentation to our state
representative, Mike Fortner. This issue is very important to us and
we are willing to do what we can to ensure that our concerns are
made known to those who can make a difference.
This is a video that we have prepared
regarding our stance on euthanasia.
Thank you for your time and consideration of
our proposal.