This survey is being conducted by men and women from around the world who believe in the "right-to-die" for terminally-ill individuals and those persons with mentally or physically compromising conditions such as advanced ALS/Lou Gehrig's disease, advanced Alzheimer's disease or other dementias.
In the United States it is not a crime to commit suicide. And everyone with legal capacity has a right to refuse treatment of any kind, albeit that such refusal can and often does hasten death. But, in the US, when proposed legal changes would allow a physician to prescribe a lethal drug for a terminally-ill individual, organizations opposed to such right-to-die legislation label the patient's act "suicide" and the physician's act "assisted suicide". (Without such legislation, the physician's help is a felony - assisting suicide or even murder.)
Society typically understands suicide as a final act that is violent (hanging, gun to head, jumping from high bridge, etc.) and that is done alone, often by someone who is depressed. These people, if their distress is recognized in time, can in many instances be successfully treated. This is very different from the situation in which suffering, terminally ill individuals choose to hasten their dying. Such individuals wish to end their life in a peaceful and dignified manner, at home, with family around them. To most people, this is something else, not suicide.
Yet, hard as it is to believe, the English language has no word for this different kind of dying, this hastening of death. The purpose of this survey is to find out if there might be a word or phrase that can be widely used to denote this different kind of dying.
The group seeking such a word or short phrase has chosen some available words and phrases, and a new word, that might be considered to connote this special way of dying. The group is asking you to give your view about each - and even to suggest another.