The term "vegetative state" means the state of a patient whose level of brain activity is sufficient to direct the basic, vital functions of his or her organism without however enabling proper conscious thought and interaction with his or her environment.
The vegetative state
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- Euthanasia and assisted suicideEuthanasia was decriminalized many years ago in the Netherlands and Belgium, both for adults and for minors. It has become common practice.
More recently, it has passed into law in Luxembourg and Colombia, and is in the process of being legalised in Canada. For its part, assisted suicide is tolerated in Switzerland and authorised in five US states (Montana, Oregon, Washington, Vermont and California).
In many rich countries, the debate on the end of life has made its way onto the political...