Assisted Suicide

Language in todayís
right to choose to die debate

THE TERMS AND THEIR EUPHEMISMS
(Take your pick!)

By Derek Humphry
Nov 04 2014

Euthanasia:
Help with a good death Ė in whichever way is desired, justifiable and appropriate. A broad, generic term for the right to die.

Voluntary Euthanasia:
When a physician administers a lethal dose to a dying person at their request.

For when a doctor prescribes a lethal overdose which the dying patient chooses to drink:
Physician-assisted suicide; Physician-assisted death; Physician-assisted dying; Physician-hastened death; Death With Dignity; Aid in Dying; Medically-assisted dying; Medicide (Kevorkian book); Physician-managed death; Mercy killing; Terminal sedation.

For when a terminal patient chooses to end his or her own life without medical help:
Self-deliverance; Patient-directed dying (Preston book); Humane self-chosen death; Auto-euthanasia; Rational suicide; Hastened death; Right to choose to die; Choice in dying; Self-determination; Suicide; Assisted suicide; Final Exit (Humphry book); Managed death; Self-destruction; self-murder; self-directed death; Peaceful Pill (Nitschke book); Drion Pill; stopping eating and drinking, felo de se.

Common euphemisms to avoid saying dead:
Passed away; Passed on; Gone to a better place; Departed; Gone to meet the Maker; Gone to meet the majority; Gone to the world of light; Gone to Davy Jonesís locker; Crossed to the other side; Gone to sleep with the fishes; Quietly slipped from our embrace; Succumbed; Called home; Got her/his final reward; Expired; Dearly departed; Gone to Jesus

The criminal world has its own set of avoidances of the reality of death:
Whacked, smoked, wasted, rubbed out, deep sixed; given cement overshoes.

Finally, there are the humorous and sardonic terms for death:
Croaked, gave up the ghost, put on the wooden overcoat, total goner, kicked the bucket, dead as a doornail, snuffed it, bit the dust, bought the farm, flat-lined, pushing up daisies, celestial discharge, negative patient-care outcome, dirt nap, curtains, popped their clogs..

Note: It would be useful if we still had Shakespeare around to invent modern new terms, because nobody currently can agree on the foregoing ones.

--Derek Humphry (ergo@finalexit.org) Oregon


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A webpage of the Euthanasia Research & Guidance Organization (ERGO), based in Oregon, USA.