Euthanasia, more commonly known as 'mercy killing', refers to the practice of ending life in order to relieve endless pain and intractable suffering. It is derived from the Greek word 'Euthanatos' meaning an easy or good death.
Classification: Depending upon person's informed consent, euthanasia can be classified into three categories:
Voluntary : Conducted with the consent of the patient.
Non-voluntary: Conducted where the consent of patient is unavailable (As in the case of Aruna Shanbaug)
Involuntary: Conducted against the will of the patient.
Passive: Entails withholding common treatments and medical support for continuance of life
Active: Entails pre-approved use of lethal substances to end life
Countries Permitting: Very few countries/territories legally sanction one or the other forms of euthanasia. They are Neatherland, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Albania, USA (only in three states - Washington, Oregon and Montana).