Types of euthanasia

The euthanasia  is formed as the action that intentionally leads to death of the person. It is carried out in cases in which a disease that has no cure is treated to avoid the suffering of the patient.

It develops without causing any type of pain or suffering to the patient. It must be done at all times under medical supervision and is always practiced by health professionals.

The word euthanasia has its origin in the roots ” eu  which means good, and “tanathos” whose meaning in Spanish is death. It is currently prohibited in most countries of the world and has brought numerous debates and postulates.


  • 1 Types of euthanasia
    • 1.1 Direct euthanasia
    • 1.2 Active euthanasia
    • 1.3 Passive euthanasia
    • 1.4 Indirect euthanasia 
    • 1.5 Voluntary euthanasia
    • 1.6 Involuntary euthanasia
    • 1.7 Merciful euthanasia
    • 1.8 Eugenic euthanasia

Types of euthanasia

There are mainly two types of euthanasia: e direct utanasia and indirect euthanasia . But in addition to these types, different ones can be found that will depend on various reasons, among these you can see: Voluntary and involuntary euthanasia, Pious or eugenic Euthanasia.

Direct euthanasia

Direct euthanasia is called the action of causing death in cases in which a person’s illness is terminal. This is carried out by health professionals and can be subdivided into two forms, active and passive euthanasia.

Active euthanasia

This subtype of euthanasia can be considered the most common. It is carried out by introducing drugs or certain elements into the patient that will later cause the patient’s death.

It is usually carried out especially in cases of terminal cancer or other diseases of which medical professionals are certain that the person has no opportunity to live.

To refer to this type of euthanasia in some countries such as the Anglo-Saxons, the name of euthanasia by action is used.

Passive euthanasia

This type of direct euthanasia that consists of the suppression of what keeps the patient alive or the omission of the application of a specific treatment. This can happen on occasions such as assisted breathing.

Through this passive euthanasia, the disconnection is carried out, in this case from the patient to the machine that allows him to stay alive. In Anglo-Saxon countries this type is called, euthanasia by omission or what is the same as “letting die.”

Indirect euthanasia 

This type of euthanasia is one in which it is not intended to cause the death of the person, what is intended on this occasion is to make the severe pain caused by a disease disappear.

The drugs that are given to the patient carry with them the end of life more quickly than if they were not taken. It is called indirect, precisely because what is sought is not the death of the person.

 The most common procedure used to induce indirect euthanasia is with increased doses of morphine to relieve severe pain.

Voluntary euthanasia

It occurs when the person who is going to be euthanized is satisfied with the decision to end the suffering caused by the illness they have and, therefore, it is this person who makes the decision to end their life.

Involuntary euthanasia

Occurs when the person who is going to be euthanized does not agree or cannot express his wishes about whether or not the action that will lead to death is carried out, it is usually common for the person to be faced with a situation of unconsciousness and without decision-making power, therefore, family members or authorized persons decide to carry out this practice.

Merciful euthanasia

It is closely related to passive euthanasia , but the fact that in this case the death of the person is intended as an end distinguishes them . This is practiced with the intention of avoiding greater suffering to the person who is going through a terminal illness, it is usually done when there is no alternative life.

Eugenic euthanasia

It is intended to exterminate or kill people who are seen or considered as weights for society, that is, it tries in some way to prevent the birth or appearance of people who will create “burdens” on the people who will take care of them.

The term usually refers to cases in which, for example, people who wish to have offspring are genetically examined and genes carrying malformations or other diseases are extracted and reproduction is prevented simply for this fact.

 In turn, what this type of euthanasia intends or is linked to is the reproduction and creation of “perfect” people, avoiding at all times that people who can discern the above are born.

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