Euthanasia: An Option For Good Death

1125 words - 5 pages

When debating who has the right to determine a person's death, it is always a controversial issue. Euthanasia is known as the practice of intentionally ending a life in hopes of freeing an individual from an incurable disease or unendurable suffering (Nordqvist). It can be done by either the request of a dying patient or by the consent of a person's legal guardian. Although our society influences the prolong treatment of medicine and care of all people, Euthanasia with special guidelines, should be added as an additional option because it allows dying patients to avoid a painful death, reduces financial burdens, and lessens family sufferance.
Imagine seeing a loved one or a close friend suffer through a vicious illness both fatal and untreatable. Would it be morally acceptable to allow the person in pain to decide whether he or she wants to take away their own life? Sadly enough, in the United States, this choice does not exist, and if an act like this was performed by any doctor it would be considered a murder crime which could result in a prison sentence to up to 14 years or more (Nordqvist). Oregon and Washington D.C. are currently the only two states that allow assisted suicide, while euthanasia is illegal in every state ("Where it is legal in the U.S."). The difference between the two comes from the way they are both performed. When assisted suicide occurs the patient administers the recommended medication by the physician, however euthanasia occurs when the doctor himself directs the medication to the suffering patient, with the purpose of ending their life sooner (Diaconescu 474).
In the supreme court case, People of the State of Michigan v. Jack Kevorkian, a patient named Thomas Youk was killed by his doctor through euthanasia also recognized as "mercy killing." Youk was diagnosed with a severe medical disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and was said to be in his final phases of living. Euthanasia took place in this case because the patient requested a lethal injection to be done on him to end his suffering. Before Dr. Kevorkian performed the injection he videotaped his conference meeting with Youk and made him sign a paper to ensure he had his official consent. In 1999, Kevorkian was arrested for his act of voluntary euthanasia. He was convicted of second-degree murder and was forced to spend a 10-25 year jail sentence ("Legal Precedents"). Though he was just helping his patient escape misery and had enough evidence to prove it, he was punished for his actions. Banning euthanasia, just as in this case, results in denying people from their rights of freedom. The law itself does little from stopping individuals because many believe their right to live or die is their own choice. Euthanasia in Greek denotes "good death," if death was legalized to be practiced in every state, medical professionals could assist individuals in reaching a safer option of suicide rather than the traumatic alternative of attempting to do it...

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