Creative Expression Cannot Happen When You Are Dead

2570 words - 10 pages

A man is diagnosed with cancer and has only six months to live. Shock and grief assail him upon discovering this. Fast-forward a couple of months to just after one of his many chemo sessions. He is kneeling over the toilet in his bathroom wishing it were only because he had spent the night drinking. Another month later, he is not well enough to leave his bed and his family gathers anxiously about him as though each breath will be his last. Why must he suffer so? He asks himself this question multiple times as he lies there in agony waiting for an end to his suffering. He asks his family to let him go, but it would be illegal for the doctor to do so. He spends the majority of his time in a medicated stupor when not undergoing chemotherapy, and cannot even fully understand what is happening around him. He dies after immense anguish on both his and his family’s part. He would not have had to endure so much pain if he had been able to end his life. His family could have spent some time with him before his death and would not have had to see him die in such a deteriorated state, far less than his former self. Many people oppose all forms of euthanasia, but as long as it is carried out under the request of the patient with proper regulations in place, it would alleviate the suffering of many.
Euthanasia has different meanings depending on its usage (“Euthanasia”, 1). When the person who has died expressed no wish to be aided in death it is called non-voluntary euthanasia (“Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics”, 1). Voluntary euthanasia occurs when a person does express the wish to die (“Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics”, 1). When a person gives a terminally ill individual the knowledge and means to take their life, intending the person to end their life, it is referred to as assisted suicide (“Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics”, 1). If the person who assists in the ending of an ill person’s life is a doctor, this is called “physician assisted suicide” (“Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics”, 1). This is the common term for euthanasia in the Netherlands (“Euthanasia”, 3). Involuntary euthanasia is when a person is killed when he or she explicitly stated contrary desires (“Robert Powell Center For Medical Ethics”, 2). Euthanasia etymology comes from eu meaning “well or good” and thanatos meaning “death” (Euthanasia, 1). No matter how it is used, however, some are inherently opposed to any form of euthanasia would be accepting of it in certain cases.
A survey of people in the United States shows that 45% of those who participated are supportive of legalizing euthanasia, while 36% are opposed and 23% are undecided (, 1). FOX News polls from 2005 shows that of the people who watch FOX News, 46% are in favor of legalizing physician assisted suicide for patients who are terminally ill, while only 39% are opposed (, 3). The poll also asks if people believe that states should be able to allow doctors to prescribe...

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