A number of issues in medical ethics turn upon the problem of defining death, but few writers have addressed the question of a Buddhist definition of death directly. Only monks van Loon (1978), Keown (1995), and Mettanando (1991) have argued for a specific definition. This has resulted in the definition of death in Buddhist terms being the "lack of all consciousness" in spite of functioning body parts, which is the lack of a judgemental or perceptive mind even with working organs. Consequently, euthanasia in Buddhism both violates the first precept of not harming sentient beings, and aids against the first Noble Truth- Life is suffering, "Dukkha".
Buddhist tradition, especially in Japan, is very tolerant of suicide and euthanasia. Evidence of this is the Buddha's tolerance of suicide by monks and tells of many different stories praising euthanasia by monks, samurai and laypeople. This suggests that Zen Buddhism values self-determination and praises those who decide when and how they will die when they do so in order to have a dignified conscious death. It appears that Zen Buddhism bases the justification of euthanasia on the significance and moral impact that the death will have. Euthanasia within this Buddhist variant comes across as a