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Euthanasia: The Controversy Over Assisted Suicide.

936 words - 4 pages

Euthanasia: The controversy over assisted suicide.When life is jarred with the constant pain from a terminal illness, a physical disability, a handicap or the agony of an incurable disease, some people willfully choose to end their life. Either by themselves or with the help of a physician or loved one, this is the practice of euthanasia. Euthanasia is an exceedingly controversial topic that some people condemn while others embrace. While the idea of injecting a patient with a lethal drug is incomprehensible to many individuals, others feel this is a great idea for scores of suffering people.In 1990, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled, in 40 states, that all legally competent patients have to devise a 'living will'. A living will expresses what kind of care you would desire, if due to any unfortunate mishap you were unable to communicate and make decisions on your own. The document can hold the key to your life, so to speak. In the will you convey what your feelings are toward euthanasia. Ultimately, it is the document that decides your fate when you are incapable to. Although the practice of euthanasia is illegal not only in the United States, but also around most of the world, it is performed by many doctors nation wide.Euthanasia has been accepted both morally and legally in various forms in many societies for centuries. Euthanasia can be traced as far back as to the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. It was occasionally allowed in these cultures to help others die. Voluntary euthanasia was also approved in these ancient societies. Some elderly people in ancient times also applauded the idea of suicide when they became of a ripe age and were lacking the vigor they previously experienced. As time passed, religion increased, and life was viewed to be more sacred. Euthanasia in any form was seen as wrong.In this century, there have been many assemblies formed that are in favor of and opposed to euthanasia. In 1935 the first group that was for the legalization of euthanasia transpired. It was called the Voluntary Euthanasia Society and was formed by a cluster of doctors in London. The first society established in the United States came shortly after in 1938. The groups name was the Hemlock Society and it now consists of more than 67,000 members. The intention of this society is to support your decision to take your life, and to offer encouragement when you are ready to depart. This organization also believes that a person must have understood euthanasia for a certain amount of time before you can make the request for death. (Euthanasia, Encarta 95')The medical methods and side effects have a large impact on how people view euthanasia. Euthanasia can be performed by lethal injection, gas, the removal of life...

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