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See euthanasia, def 1.
mercy killingMedical ethics The termination of a person's life as a humane act. See Euthanasia.
mer·cy kill·ing(mĕr'sē kil'ing)
The intentional putting to death of a person with an incurable or painful disease, intended as an act of mercy.
the euthanasia of animals for humane reasons is regarded by the veterinary profession as one of its responsibilities to the animal population. When the animal is in a great deal of pain and there is no chance of a favorable outcome, it is thought that the veterinarian is required to carry out euthanasia. In most Western countries this is enshrined in legislation relating to the protection of animals against cruelty. In awkward situations, e.g. when the owner resists or is not available to give consent to euthanasia, it is prudent to get another veterinary opinion if that is possible.