The term euthanasia in the earlier sense of supporting someone as they died, was used for the first time by Francis Bacon . In his work, Euthanasia medica , he chose this ancient Greek word and, in doing so, distinguished between euthanasia interior , the preparation of the soul for death, and euthanasia exterior , which was intended to make the end of life easier and painless, in exceptional circumstances by shortening life. That the ancient meaning of an easy death came to the fore again in the early modern period can be seen from its definition in the 18th century Zedlers Universallexikon :
Sound shocking? Consider this: a 2005 study of euthanasia in the Netherlands found that % of all euthanasia was done without consent from the patient. By the time this study was done, euthanasia had been legalized in the Netherlands. Now consider another study done in 1991 which was done before euthanasia was legalized which indicated that % of euthanasia done in the Netherlands was done without the patients consent. This shows that the legalization of euthanasia actually had the reverse of the expected effect and cut the unacceptable practice of no consent euthanasia in half. By these numbers, euthanasia has in fact saved lives since it now provides a protected and regulated framework with which doctors must first obtain explicit consent before conducting euthanasia. This same framework makes it more difficult and less grey for those seeking to perform euthanasia with impure or irresponsible intentions.