Palliative Care vs. Euthanasia
Palliative Care is used to refer to any system of care or treatment administered
to a patient to relieve him of his pain, stress and symptoms of the disease.
Though it can be resorted to by any patients at any stage of their disease, it
is usually administered to patients suffering from chronic diseases. It is
usually administered to those patients who are undergoing a curative course of
treatment to prolong their life. It works along with the main stream course of
treatment, aids and supplements it. It helps to improve the physical,
psychological, emotional, social and spiritual needs of the patient and his
On the other hand, Euthanasia is associated with death or termination of life. Though the root word of Euthanasia actually means "good death", at present it usually has a negative connotation. Though a few consider it as mercy killing, most of the people consider it as murder. Euthanasia is a method by which a patient embraces death in a painless manner. It can be conducted both with and without the consent of the patient. In voluntary Euthanasia, the patient makes the decision to end his life. This is the least controversial mode of Euthanasia. In the other one, that is, in involuntary Euthanasia, due to the inability of the patient to communicate his wish, another person makes the decision to end the life of the patient without his explicit consent.. This is a controversial mode of Euthanasia as nobody exactly knows what another person wants in such a condition. There are three means to administer Euthanasia, namely, aggressive, non-aggressive, and passive. In aggressive Euthanasia forcefully brings about death by administering some lethal substance or force. It is the most controversial method adopted in Euthanasia. In the non-aggressive method, the life supporting systems are withdrawn to bring an end to the patient's life. This is also a controversial method. In the least controversial method of Euthanasia, ie, the passive method, either common treatments are withheld or some pain relieving medication which also results in death is administered.
Palliative Care is for supporting life of the patient and also aims at improving the quality of his life during his illness. But Euthanasia is for bringing an end to a patient's life. Palliative Care has a positive connotation whereas Euthanasia has a negative connotation. Palliative Cure is recognized and legal in all societies and countries whereas Euthanasia is recognized as legal only in very few countries.