Eutanazijos terminų vartojimo bioetikoje bei teisėje problematika Lietuvoje.
The aim of the article is to reveal the problem of euthana¬sia terminology usage in law and bioethics in Lithuania. To reach the goal the following tasks have been advanced: I. Present the analysis of scientific works in law and bioethics published in Lithuania on the issue of euthanasia from the point of view of its terminology usage. 2. Study the evolution of the term euthanasia and present the examples of terminology usage of its specific varieties, relying on the universally accepted ethical criteria (distinguish euthanasia from a physician assisted suieide). 3. Distinguish euthanasia from patient’s right to refuse the treatment. In the introduction the importance of the topic is emphasized. The article is divided into three parts. The first part presents the analysis of scientific works in law and bioethics published in Lithuania on euthanasia concentrating on the "euthanasia" term usage. The studies in this field revealed the numerous cases of the term being largely misused both in law and bioethics in the scientific works written by different authors. Observing the international practice in the countries where euthanasia has been legalized the role of the terminology becomes absolutely evident. Relying on euphemisms certain definitions have been specifi ed, their content, however, does not reflect reality. The similar tendency is observed also in Lithuania. As a mie, euthanasia and physician assisted suicide are equated and treated similarly, even though the first case deals with killing and the second - with suicidal action. Generally, only a patient’s willingness is taken into consideration while the physician’s role remains unevaluated. The experts in medical ethics define it as passive euthanasia, when treatment is stopped in order to allow to die and vice versa. That practice also affects the legal work. In the second part of the article, as the universally accepted ethical criteria suggest the line is drawn between euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. It is strongly emphasized that the word "euthanasia" is formed from two Greek words - "eu" and "thanatos" which mean "good death" or "happy death". Initially, its primary meaning was as bIessed and happy death, but not the premeditated painless killing of a person in order to avoid the ongoing pain due to incurable illness, or to stop the deplorable existence depressed by a grave disease and infirmity. The direct meaning of this word is truly positive and aeceptable in compliance with the universal tradition of saving life. However, at the present time the word "euthanasia" is used to denote a doctor’s painlessly terminating the life of a suffering, terminally ill patient who wishes to die: physician produced or physician induced death. Advocates of euthanasia often call it a mercy kilIing. Killing of a patient be comes possible on commitment of a direct action of taking his life (active euthanasia) or non-commitment while refusing to apply means to support his life (passive euthanasia). In both cases the reason of the patient’s death is killing. Physician assisted suicide is the case of a suicidal action. The third part of the article considers the right of a patient to refuse the treatment, emphasizing the fact that in such cases the death of the patient cannot be defined as euthanasia.
- Articles / Straipsniai