• Greek: eu, well; thanatos, death


Easy, tranquil death.

The term is used in two senses

  • rendering death easy or painless through anesthetics
  • putting to death painlessly the socially unfit, i.e., the feeble-minded, deformed, or incurably sick

As to the first, while Catholic teaching permits the use of opiates to alleviate the pains of illness, it does not permit their use in such quantities as would deprive the sufferer of the use of reason or cause him to die in a state of unconsciousness. The time preceding death is extremely precious as a preparation for eternity, and moreover, the unlimited use of anesthetics is equivalent to the shortening of life.

Euthanasia in the second sense is immoral, because a human being, no matter how deformed or diseased, possesses intrinsic inviolability before God; furthermore, the proposed system would unsettle society by making life uncertain.

MLA Citation

  • “euthanasia”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 21 March 2010. Web. 27 November 2020. <>