It is important when considering the issue of euthanasia to appreciate the difference between causing someone to die, by starvation/dehydration or by administration of fatal drug doses, and discontinuing medical treatment which might otherwise prolong life artificially.
The problem of who should decide until what point human life is of value, and at what point a person is better off dead, is problematic to say the least. In the Netherlands, where euthanasia is legal, up to a fifth of the nation’s deaths involve ‘mercy killing’—a disturbing number being involuntary.
Legal euthanasia would put unacceptable pressure on the elderly and vulnerable, who may feel that they should end their lives to prevent themselves being a "burden" to themselves or society. Our society has come to a sad pass if it is considered accpetable to kill of our weakest members, rather than take proper care of them.
The development of palliative care by the hospice movement to relieve the suffering of the terminally ill shows that there is a preferable alternative to euthanasia, which is by its nature antithetical to medical practice.