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Euthenasia Essay

1558 words - 6 pages

When most people think of euthanasia they think simply of death.Webster's Dictionary defines it as: the deliberate, painless killing of personswho suffer from a painful and incurable disease or condition, or who are agedand helpless. This "easy death," is often criticized by those with differentreligious beliefs, the media and misinformation.What would one do if their loved one was laying in a hospital bed,suffering from an incurable illness and there was nothing that could be donefor them. The medication from the doctors is beginning to wear off and thepain is unbearable. The expression on their face tells it all. There is nothingthat can be done, except for giving them a higher dosage of medication.Shouldn't that person have the right to end their own life? Do we have afundamental and constitutional right of self determination? Was the esteemedJudge Benjamin Cardozo right when he wrote, in 1914, that "every humanbeing of adult years and sound mind has a right to determine what shall bedone with his own body?" ( Lessenberry 91).Euthanasia should be an acceptable practice when someone has beendiagnosed with a terminal illness and there is no chance for a decent qualityof life. When someone's dog is cancer ridden and is in a lot of pain they areadvised by a veterinarian (animal doctor) to put it out of its misery, but whenit's a human being in the same situation it's illegal. However nothing is ever aseasy as it seems and as there is much more to the fighting argument.Euthanasia has been accepted legally and ethically in various forms inmany societies. In ancient Greece and Rome it was permissible in certainsituations to help others die. "Some physicians may have preferred not toassist in suicide, for it could prove to be a messy business, at least from alegal perspective. Under Greek and Roman law, physicians could be chargedwith poisoning their patients" ( Larson & Amundsen 34) . Voluntaryeuthanasia for the elderly was an approved custom in several ancientsocieties. So then why hasn't euthanasia been legalized in modern daysociety?The controversy surrounding euthanasia, and the arguments supporting orprotesting the practice have raised serious concern and problems in themedical field for years, as well as society and the world as a whole. Manypeople may confuse euthanasia with assisted suicide, the difference is ineuthanasia, one person does something that directly kills another. Forexample, a doctor gives a lethal injection to a patient. In assisted suicide, anon-suicidal person knowingly and intentionally provides the means, or actsin some way to help a suicidal person kill himself or herself. For example, adoctor writes a prescription for poison. The 1961 Suicide Act Section 2.1states, "A person who aids, abets, counsels or procures the suicide of another,or an attempt by another to commit suicide, shall be liable on conviction toimprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years." Any medical professionalwho is considering or takes part in...

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