Definition of mercy killing in US English:

mercy killing


  • The killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease, typically by the administration of large doses of painkilling drugs.

    ‘should the law allow mercy killing to be available?’
    See also euthanasia
    count noun ‘it seems probably that some doctors carry out mercy killings’
    • ‘They fundamentally disapprove of mercy killing on religious grounds, and may believe that suffering is God's will and that God alone should determine when life ends.’
    • ‘In 2001 the Netherlands became the first country to legalise euthanasia, although doctors had been performing the so-called mercy killing of patients unofficially for some time.’
    • ‘In extreme circumstances of unbearable agony where others turn to euthanasia or mercy killing, Hindus know the sufferer may refuse food and water.’
    • ‘Quite simply, my book contends that most Americans now believe that legalizing either assisted suicide or actual mercy killing would be bad public policy.’
    • ‘Moreover, Lord Goff specifically rejected the compassionate avoidance of lingering as a defence against mercy killing.’
    • ‘Euthanasia is mercy killing, and to be sure it is for the good of the one given final rest.’
    • ‘The defence argues that the death was instead a form of mercy killing, which would carry a maximum five year sentence.’
    • ‘Euthanasia, mercy killing or call it what you will is helping someone to die when they wish it, without falling foul of the law and being prosecuted.’
    • ‘It is important not to confuse nonvoluntary mercy killing with involuntary mercy killing.’
    • ‘Should we not be told clearly Sikhism's position on mercy killing? assisted suicide?’
    • ‘Most of the qualified defences have an element of excuse - provocation, diminished responsibility, most duress cases, infanticide, mercy killing, and suicide pacts.’
    • ‘Once the disease reaches this stage, euthanasia or mercy killing is the only recourse.’
    • ‘The British paper Scotland on Sunday related yet another hospital mercy killing.’
    • ‘The professor, a bio-ethicist and philosopher from Manchester University, was appearing before a House of Lords committee which is investigating proposals to allow mercy killing.’
    • ‘In 2002, the first year that the law effectively decriminalising mercy killing came into force, 1882 cases were reported, 172 fewer than in 2001.’
    • ‘She had told relatives that she wanted to die, but Canadian law forbids mercy killing.’
    • ‘Also last week, the congress rejected a proposal to decriminalise mercy killing in the country.’
    • ‘If passed, the Netherlands will be the first country formally to allow mercy killing.’
    • ‘A legal test case has defined the limits within which doctors in the Netherlands, especially general practitioners, can agree to a patient's request for mercy killing.’
    • ‘He felt that doctors addressing genuine requests for mercy killing by their patients should not be turned into criminals.’


mercy killing

/ˈmərsē ˌkiliNG//ˈmərsi ˌkɪlɪŋ/