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Argument For Legalizing Euthanasia Essay

2968 words - 12 pages

A patient is diagnosed with brain tumors that have spread to their bones and muscles. The doctor gives them three months to live, but only with the continuation of treatment. They spend most of their remaining time in a hospital receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatments. They must be pushed in a wheelchair because they are too sick to walk and spend the rest of their few months in pain, knowing they will die but not sure when. That is how the last few months of Cristy Grayson's life was spent. Now ask yourself, what would you do if you were in this situation? Would you want to spend the last few months of your life unhappy and in pain, or die peacefully? For some, euthanasia is not an option, but for others it is a way to end their suffering and have a peaceful death. Although some view euthanasia to be morally wrong, voluntary euthanasia should be legalized in the United States to end the suffering of others, help patients who have the ability to live a longer life, and decrease the cost of health care.
Euthanasia is an act of killing an incurable patient who is suffering or in pain. Euthanasia comes from a Greek expression for “good death” and, in other words, allows the patients to die and easy death without suffering. Euthanasia can be described as voluntary, involuntary or active, and passive. Voluntary euthanasia is being put to death with the consent of the patient; involuntary is where the patient is to ill to give consent, so a physician or close family member gives consent for them. Passive euthanasia is when common treatments, such as, antibiotics, pain medications, or surgery, are withheld. Active euthanasia is the use of lethal substances that will end a patient’s life. No matter what form of euthanasia is used, most legal systems consider it murder and will be sentenced in prison if the crime is committed in a place where it is illegal. As of 2008, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Andalusia, Thailand and the U.S state of Oregon have made some forms of euthanasia legal. The debate on whether to legalize euthanasia has been an ongoing controversy among physicians, religious leaders, lawyers and the general public (World of Criminal Justice).
The biggest reason why patients choose to be euthanized is because patients feel the quality of life has been damaged due to physical changes. Being extremely sick or even paralyzed can cause patients to feel depressed, and have loss of dignity. Explanations for assisted suicide are pain, hopelessness, and concerns of family members having economic hardship. According to a study of 35 families, nine factors were identified. Out of the 35 patients who wanted to be euthanatized, 24 felt weak and uncomfortable, 23 had loss of function, 14 felt pain from medication, 22 felt no sense of self, 21 felt they had no control, and 3 feared being a burden; This study shows the biggest reason for choosing assisted suicide was found under illness-related experiences (Pearlman). A...

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