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Euthanasia In The United States Essay

1571 words - 6 pages

Euthanasia in the United States

The frail woman lay on her bed, chatting quietly with her grandchild. They had spent the day talking about unicorns, Cinderella, and "the olden days." As they conversed, the woman's daughter looked on. She nodded to the doctor, and by the end of the evening the joyful spirit of old woman was gone. Euthanasia is a practice that has become more common than realized in the United States. Various states in the Union have tried to legalize euthanasia within the past few years. Those states include Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, New York, Washington, California and Oregon. North Carolina, Utah and Wyoming do not necessarily ban physician-assisted suicide. Euthanasia is criminalized in the remaining states (Johnson 25). Oregon is the only state that allows euthanasia under tightly controlled circumstances. (Johnson 26.) There are several bills that are circulating through U.S. courts and legislatures for and against euthanasia (Matas 14b). Even though euthanasia has a growing base of legal support in the United States, it is murder.
Oregon has had an ongoing battle about euthanasia since 1994. Citizens in the state approved Ballot Measure 16 in the 1994 November elections that would have legalized euthanasia under limited conditions (Oregon 2). The National Right to Life Committee, sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian denominations, obtained a court injunction to delay the implementation of the measure. In the meantime, the measure was not enacted (Johnson 30). The Oregon Medical Association originally took no stand on the matter but later came out against it because of what was considered legal flaws (Oregon 4).

Conservatives within the Oregon government were forced to approve the legislation due to the June 1997 second public referendum. The referendum was upheld by 61% of adults in Oregon (Oregon 5-6).
A Right to Life lawyer named Annette Patterson said: "It's becoming the abortion issue of the next century and just as nasty. Yet it is even more important because how we die concerns everyone (Johnson 31)." There is a strong element of truth in this statement. Even though a miniscule percentage of people would ever request assistance in dying, to legalize "controlled" euthanasia would create a wide doorway for open and uncontrolled physician-assisted suicide (Meier 37). Oregon's Death with Dignity law, effective since November 4, 1997, did exactly that (Oregon 41). God wants the sanctity of life to be upheld at every cost, no matter the circumstances surrounding the issue. In our modern world, people only think of themselves and their own selfish desires, not necessarily for the good of another's life. To love someone is to help that person improve the condition of life, not destroy it because it was a personal choice. In Matthew 24:12, it states that "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold (Matthew). " America has become as selfish nation that...

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