Die With Dignity Euthanasia Essay

1092 words - 4 pages

Recently, with Massachusetts making gay marriages legal, we have been hearing a lot of arguments on whether gay unions are right or wrong. Five years ago, it wasn't gay marriages and Massachusetts that was in the news, it was Oregon and Euthanasia. Euthanasia, as defined in The American Heritage Dictionary, "The act of painlessly ending the life of a person for reasons of mercy". Most of us think of it as ending the life of a terminally ill patient, as by injection or the suspension of extraordinary medical treatment. I believe that Euthanasia should be legal in every state.When I was ten-years-old my dog, Pebble, was very sick and we could tell she was in lots of pain, and we decided to have her put to sleep. Recently, President Bush and his family put their senior dog Spot to sleep for similar reasons. How come it is morally wrong to put a person who is suffering out of his or her misery, when it is perfectly acceptable for man's best friend? We don't even give the dogs the choice of prolonging their inevitable demise. I strongly feel that it is a person's right to choose to die, if they are suffering from a terminal illness or incurable disease.Allowing people to die in the manner of their choosing is consistent with the American concepts of individual liberty and limited government, as envisioned by the founding fathers. "The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness includes the right to die with dignity," says Libertarian Party chairman Steve Dasbach. "The power to decide how and when to die should reside solely with the individual patient, not with doctors, family members and especially not with the government" (Libertarian Party press release 1997).I do not believe the government has any business making laws that decide how people can and cannot die. Federal appeals court judge, Roger J. Miner asks, "What interest can the state possibly have in requiring the prolongation of a life that is all but ended? And what business is it of the state to require the continuation of agony when the result is imminent and inevitable?" (qtd. in Dority 7). I feel that not only the person dying would be putting an end to suffering. When a loved one is suffering and in pain, the people who are close to him or her are usually suffering as well. Not only are they suffering emotionally, but also the medical cost can be tremendous in the last year of life. Medicare, the government health insurance program for Americans over the age of sixty-five, spends nearly 30 percent of its budget on patients in their final year of life. Physician-assisted suicide would absolutely be a less costly way to deal with such expensive drains on the nation's economy.But just because Euthanasia would be legal, would that mean many people would take advantage of it? Dr. Katrina Hedberg, a representative of the Oregon Health Department says that during the first five years that physician-assisted suicide has been legal in Oregon, 129 people have used taken advantage of it...

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