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  • Writer's pictureYiunam Leung

【 安樂 · 死 ≠ 安樂死 】

【 安樂 · 死 ≠ 安樂死 】

英國嬰孩 Charlie Gard 於當地時間 2017 年 7 月 28 日離世的消息,引起全球關注,在香港亦被受傳媒廣泛報導。然而,某些傳媒把 Charlie 的離世報導為「安樂死」;「生死教育學會」認為這些報導將「安樂死」跟「自然死亡」兩個截然不同的概念不當混淆,學會作為一個推廣生死教育的慈善團體,需要為公眾澄清。 .

在不同地域的醫療制度對「安樂死」這個概念的理解很是相近,但是在法律上其合法性就頗有分歧。在英國,醫療保健服務(National Health Service)將「安樂死」定義為:「故意結束一個人的生命以減輕其痛苦的行為(the act of deliberately ending a person’s life to relieve suffering)」。即「安樂死」是蓄意地給予病人致命劑量的藥物,故意和直接地殺死病人。換句話說,安樂死是有意地提早結束病人的生命。在英國安樂死是不合法的。 . 在 Charlie 的事件中,他送到寧養部(hospice unit)接受紓緩治療(palliative care),之後被撤去了人工輔助呼吸儀器,隨後死亡。像 Charlie 這樣的末期疾病患者,撤去無效的治療,是讓他可以「自然死亡」。亦即是說,Charlie 的死亡原因是由於一種不可治愈的末期疾病,屬於自然死亡,並不是某些媒體報導的「安樂死」。 . 香港 生死教育學會 創會會長 謝建泉醫生 . Euthanasia vs. Natural Death The death of baby Charlie Gard on 28 July 2017 in the UK aroused global attention and the news was also widely reported in Hong Kong. Some local media have reported Charlie’s death as “euthanasia”. The Society for Life and Death Education, as a charitable organization with a mission to promote life and death education in Hong Kong, feels that it is important to point out to the public the significant differences between “euthanasia” and “natural death”. . Health care administrators in different parts of the world may have broadly similar interpretation of “euthanasia” as a concept but its legality differs vastly under different legal jurisdictions. In the UK, the National Health Service defines euthanasia as “the act of deliberately ending a person’s life to relieve suffering”. At euthanasia, death is caused by administering a lethal dose of a drug to kill a patient intentionally and directly. In other words, it shortens a patient’s life prematurely and purposely. Euthanasia is illegal under English law. . In Charlie’s case, he was transferred to a hospice unit to receive palliative care and died after his artificial respiratory support was withdrawn. Charlie had an incurable and terminal illness and by forgoing futile treatment, allowed natural death to occur. Charlie had died of natural death and not euthanasia as some news media has reported. . Dr. Vincent Tse, Founding Chairman, Society for Life and Death Education, Hong Kong . =============== 參考連結: 生死教育學會: 電郵 ===============

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