Euthanasia: It Is Not Murder, It Is Mercy
Thesis Statement: Thousands of people in the United States alone die every year from terminal illness such as cancer, ALS and AIDS. Advanced Medical technology is responsible for keeping many of them alive - many against their wishes. In the United States, euthanasia (assisted suicide) is illegal in all but one state. Many patients are forced to suffer needlessly when there is another alternative. According to a new Time/CNN poll 7 out of 10 American's say that they want to die at home; instead three-fourths die in medical institutions" (Cloud 59). In our society people are, as a whole, living longer. With all the choices we are allowed, why is a good death not one of them?
In our society we are awarded one life and one death, no more, no less. Granted, living life to its fullest is an American way of life NO ONE wants to die in pain, alone and afraid. We would all like to drift to sleep on the wings of a dove never to suffer again. It is a nice thought but for 52.5% of Americans who are terminally ill, this does not happen. More and more people, young and old, are being diagnosed with Cancer, AIDS, and other diseases such as Muscular Dystrophy, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease) and Alzheimer's disease. Euthanasia is becoming more and more popular as a way to end one's suffering when there is no further medical treatment available to CURE the disease.
Darkling I listen, and for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful death,
Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever it seems rich to die
To cease upon the midnight with no pain...
Dying is a personal thing and every individual has a different and personal view about how it should be done. Many think that euthanasia is a mortal sin. To many taking one's life is a direct violation of the Ten Commandments. "Thou shall not kill" - Exodus 20:13 (Nelson 132). Many religions insist that suicide is a mortal sin. In researching this paper, I have been unable to find any reference to suicide in the King James Version of the Bible. There is, however, a reference to suicide in the Catholic Bible but it views suicide as an act against the church, not God. Most Protestant religions teach that suicide is a mortal sin, it may be a rule of the church but so far as my research shows, it is not a rule of the Bible.
Who has the right to tell one that they can or cannot end their own life? The Constitution of the United States gives each and every American the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It does not, in so many words, grant us the right to die with dignity. In fact, there are many lawmakers and lobbyists who strive ardently to keep terminally ill patients alive, against their wishes. "No, the U.S. Constitution does not talk about physician assisted suicide. Neither does it talk about the right to own a video...