Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Euthanasia in Belgium

'Euthanasia' comes from two ancient Greek words: 'eu' - good and 'thanatos' - death. So euthanasia means 'a good death' or, basically, euthanasia is when a person is helped to die when he/she wants to, usually because of extreme pain which cannot be ended and a terminal condition (a condition which is leading directly and soon to death).

In Belgium euthanasia is not only legal, but they seem to allow people who are not suffering physical pain to die if they want to. Please read the article below - it is about a young woman who does not find life to be meaningful and who literally said, "Life? It's just not for me."

So part of me agrees that if a person wants to die, he should should not be prevented from doing this, but in the case of this young woman, it seems that her desire to die was caused by a horrible life. Perhaps there is some type of psychological treatment that can convince her to stick around and live. What do you think?  

The article:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

a green light - if a person gets a green light to do something, the person may do it freely; the person has permission to do something

to commit suicide - please remember that suicide is not a verb, so we don't say, "He suicided..." we say: "He committed suicide."  Suicide is a noun and the verb to be used with it is: to commit

jumped by a third - increased by 33% or 1/3

a perfectly healthy girl - here the adverb 'perfectly' is used for emphasis, to stress how healthy the girl is

ranging from ____ to _____ - this means the category includes various types that can be represented as falling within two extreme types

ailments - physical problems

fictitious name - fake name, non-real name

she qualifies for euthanasia - she meets the standards or qualifications or criteria for this process

a troubled childhood - a difficult, painful childhood

her arrival was not planned - her parents did not want to give birth to her

this did not diminish ____ - this did not make her suicidal thoughts decrease, she kept thinking about suicide even though her grandparents were good to her

a stable family - a family in which one can predict what's going to happen and where people don't change in crazy ways

a funeral - the ceremony performed after a person dies

pulled the trigger - killed herself with the gun

a bearable life - a life that doesn't cause so much psychologically originated pain that a person wants to die

extensively - very detailed

everything has been appointed - arranged, established, this will happen

Those who are about to die salute you. - ancient gladiators in Rome used to say this before they fought against each other to the death. To salute someone is to pay respect to someone through a visual signal.

surged - increased rapidly

liberalized the law - made the law less strict, made it easier to engage in euthanasia

crept up incrementally - moved up or increased slowly but surely

unrelieved - can't be relieved, can't be made better

a capacity of discernment - an ability to think clearly and to understand what is going on

affirmed - acknowledged, verified, said to be true

consent - the agreement of their parents

safeguards - ways to prevent bad things from happening

gravely - seriously

a symposium - an academic talk

physical deformities - changes to one's appearance which make a person look terrible to others

involuntary - against their will, against their desire

in a coma - not conscious, in a medical condition where the person is not dead but not conscious

controversial - if something is controversial it causes people to argue

deliberately - not accidentally, choosing to do something

a living will - a document a person prepares ahead of time stating how he/she wishes to be treated if he/she falls into a coma

restricts - limits

emancipated - this word means 'free'

a GP - general practitioner, a doctor

urge - to encourage

high on their agenda - this issue should be a top priority, or an issue that is addressed very quickly

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