Suicide vs Euthanasia
Suicide and Euthanasia are two words in the English language that have to be used differently since there is some difference between them when it comes to their meaning and connotation. Suicide consists of intentionally killing oneself. This can be due to many reasons. When people are fully depressed and lose their motivation towards living, some people attempt suicides. There is no specific age limit for suicide. It can be attempted by an individual belonging to any age. On the other hand, Euthanasia can be interpreted as mercy killing. This is mostly committed on the basis of medical reasons. Due to this, the legality of euthanasia is well established and is considered as legal. However, in the case of suicide, it is highly illegal.
What is Suicide?
When focusing on the term suicide, it can simply be defined as intentionally killing oneself. Suicide arises from the lack of motivation to live. In the modern society we hear of a number of suicidal cases through media. The reasons for these suicides vary. It ranges from personal problems such as relationship issues, depression, and employment to more societal issues such as poverty. In all cases, the individual is overwhelmed by the feeling of desperation and has an acute sense of disappointment in life. This leads the person to a point where he or she feels that life is completely futile. When this reaches an optimal level the person with suicidal thoughts attempt to kill himself. In this sense, it is a harsh act. Within the legal framework of majority of countries, suicide is considered as illegal. Anyone who attempts suicide is strictly punishable under law. Even when paying attention to religious backgrounds such as Buddhism, religion is considered as one of the greatest sins. When engaging in a comparison between suicide and euthanasia, suicide does not always take place after a thorough deliberation. It takes place without much consideration as the individual is overwhelmed by the emotions and the surrounding environment. Also, it takes place without a constructive thought. For an example, a very common scenario of teenage suicide can be taken. A young teenage girl commits suicide due to a relationship crisis. The teenager feels lost momentarily, and becomes disappointed and depressed. This leads her to view suicide as a possible solution to the existing situation. In this sense, there is a significant difference between euthanasia and suicide. Also, this phenomenon of suicide is only applicable to human beings and not to animals.
What is Euthanasia?
Euthanasia is quite different to suicide. It can be interpreted as mercy killing. In Euthanasia, another person is responsible for the act of killing. The reason, however, is to relieve a person who is suffering from a terminal illness unlike in the case of suicide. In suicide, the individual himself engages in the killing as a solution to rid himself from problems that are pestering him. Another key difference between the two is that while, in Euthanasia, the killing is brought about by another person, in suicide the act of killing is brought about by oneself. It is interesting to note that euthanasia was supported by the ancient Greek philosophers though they opposed suicide. Some people consider suicide as an act of cowardice whereas euthanasia is an act of mercy. When engaging in a comparison between the two, euthanasia is not a sudden and a harsh act. It is a philosophical act. It takes place after a thorough deliberation with people concerned. Euthanasia takes place with a constructive thought. It is important to note that euthanasia is applicable to human beings and animals as well. The legality of euthanasia is established whereas, in suicide, it is highly illegal. On the other hand, a person dealing with euthanasia is only applauded for his act. There is also a concept called ‘voluntary euthanasia’. Voluntary euthanasia is when a person voluntarily agrees to be helped to die.
What is the difference between Suicide and Euthanasia?
- Suicide is committed by the individual who is subjected to the killing whereas euthanasia is committed by another individual.
- Suicide is a harsh and sudden action whereas euthanasia takes place after a thorough deliberation with people concerned.
- Suicide does not take place with a constructive thought whereas euthanasia takes place with a constructive thought.
- Suicide is considered as illegal but euthanasia is not.
1.Suicide by Sam Metsfan – Apartment in New York. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons