The word euthanasia literally means “good death” (General History), and as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, “the means of bringing about a gentle and easy death.” Euthanasia has been mostly forbidden throughout history; however, the actions of easy death have been applied since ancient ages for people who have been suffering from terminal illnesses (General History). It’s not consistent to tell people they have a right to live their life while denying them the means, manner, or information necessary for them to give away this life (Should). Humans have a constitutional right to live; therefore, humans should have a right to die, so Americans should become involved in a movement towards legalizing euthanasia.
In 1994, Oregon was the first state to grant the ability to a terminally ill patient to get a physician’s prescription to end their life in a humane and dignified manner (Timeline). Since then, Washington, Montana and Vermont have also legalized euthanasia (Timeline). It’s not just the U.S. that has begun legalizing; many European countries have either legalized it, or are moving to legalize it. Albania, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Columbia have all legalized euthanasia or physician assisted death (P.A.D.) in the past ten years (General History). The difference between euthanasia and P.A.D. is with euthanasia, the patient themself is the one who controls the lethal dose of drug injected. Physician assisted death is the doctor directly dosing the patient with medicine from outside the patient’s control.
When Hitler used euthanasia in World War II, he ordered people be killed who were mentally or physically handicapped, or if they were “useless and unrehabilitive” (General History). That may be why one would argue But how would someone who is in the hospital dying feel if they were told that they have to continue on in pain and agony because of what the Germans did in 1940? (Humphry).
The state government is who has to be convinced to legalize euthanasia, so if enough people wrote letters or held rallies, it might start to be considered by governments in states that haven’t moved to legalize yet.
There is also the option of donating to organizations, or even just joining and bringing support to them. There are several groups around the world made solely to support and try to legalize euthanasia. One group is called Dignity in Dying. Originated in London, it is “a national campaign and membership organization with over 25,000 active supporters campaigning to legalize assisted dying, for terminally ill, mentally competent adults” (Campaign). A similar group was formed in 1980 called Hemlock Society (Humphry). The goal of that group is basically to decriminalize the actions of doctors and physicians in the assisted suicides of terminally ill patients (Humphry). The more people that join the organizations to support, the more money the organizations get, which brings them closer to succeeding with legalizing euthanasia....