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Euthanasia: A Painless Deaceful Death Essay

2227 words - 9 pages

Euthanasia is a painless peaceful death. Euthanasia is defined as the deliberate putting to death of a person suffering from a painful, incurable disease(New Standard Encyclopedia Dictionary). People use other terms to describe euthanasia: mercy killing, assisted suicide, and physician assisted suicide. Euthanasia can be unresponsive, (inactive) or active. Unresponsive euthanasia occurs when an incurably ill person refuses life sustaining medical support. Active euthanasia happens when another person deliberately causes the death of a terminally ill person, such as when someone gives a terminally ill person a lethal injection. Euthanasia can also be voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary euthanasia occurs with the consent of the dying person, while involuntary euthanasia happens when the dying person doesn’t give their consent.

The right to die term used in the support of euthanasia started in the 1970s. It describes the rights of those that are terminally ill or those that are seriously injured. It started in the 1970s with the case of Karen Ann Quinlan from New Jersey. Karen fell into a coma from the use of drugs and alcohol. Being kept alive with a respirator and feeding tube, her parents decided on pulling the plug and ending her life.

In 1976, Karen was hospitalized in a Catholic Hospital. The hospital refused the parents request to end her life. The Supreme Court of New Jersey ruled that the parents of Karen Ann Quinlan had the right to decide their daughter’s fate. This decision started the “right to die” issues (Charles E Hughes). Neutralization who’s against it and who’s for it, some of the arguments against euthanasia are that suicide no matter how or why is wrong. Under special conditions even the Catholic Church does not consider euthanasia to be suicide. They believe that no life, no matter the condition is ever totally without hope.

Anyone with strong religious convictions believes that only God or a supreme being has the right to choose life or death. Advocates also argue that physicians, who are trained to heal, not kill, do not have any rights to choose who lives or dies. Those who are for euthanasia and the “right to die” issue believe that it is each person’s choice. Before the Karen Ann Quinlan case, the law did not say whose choice it was to live or die. Now with laws, different than they were in 1976, there are sicker or even well people have been living wills.
These living wills are to help people make their own decisions, whether they live or die. People worry about the cost of continuing medical costs. These costs stem from out-of-pocket cost, that which is not covered by insurance companies. People also forget that the patient’s family members have jobs, but with the patient’s needs, the family’s job may suffer. They may have fewer hours or even due to not showing up because of medical responsibilities, they may lose that job. There is also the emotional cost, tension among the patient and the family...

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