FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ) QUESTION: What does "euthanasia" mean? ANSWER: Literally, euthanasia means "a good death" - as translated by Greek root words. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * QUESTION: What is the difference between "euthanasia" and "assisted suicide"? ANSWER: Acording to Dr. Timothy Quill (New England Journal of Medicine) the difference is one of "balance of power." In an act of "assisted suicide" it is the patient who activates some device and thus, right until the very end, maintains control over the dying process. In an act of "active euthanasia" the patient (or appropriate proxy decison-maker with power of attorney) would authorize a doctor to provide a lethal injection. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * QUESTION: Isn't better care and pain management the "answer" - instead of suicide and euthanasia? ANSWER: For some people, it undoubtedly is - but not for all. Pain is not the only kind of suffering: there is dread, humiliation, powerlessness, and forms of misery that are beyond "pain management". * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * QUESTION: Doesn't euthanasia mean that doctors are "playing God"? ANSWER: Delaying death is "playing God" just as much as hastening inevitable death. It is part of our nature as human beings (contrasted with "lower" life forms) to improve our world - maybe that is what the Bible means when it says we are made in God's image (we are active and creative, not just passive). Moreoever, making decisions about the start of life (planned parenthood) was once called "playing God" but it has greatly reduced human misery. Making decisions about the end of life is a logical corollary.