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It's My Party And I'll Die If I Want To

1332 words - 5 pages

In today’s society death is all around us. It is found in the TV shows we watch, the movies we go and see, sometimes half a world away, and sometimes a block away. Sadly, death cannot be avoided. It is an inevitable occurrence; but what about suffering? We all have often seen in movies when the protagonist’s friend is left suffering near death, and asking him to provide a quick escape from it. What if he just sat there and ignored his plea, and let him continue his suffering as death ever so slowly crept up? An audience would not think a hero of any kind would let a loved one suffer that way. It just wouldn’t be morally right. Well, that’s exactly what the government and protesters are enforcing while euthanasia is illegal. People should have the right to end their pain and suffering if no other option is effective, and we, as human beings, should always try to help end suffering and pain by going to whatever lengths we are capable.
Human beings should have the basic right of having control over what happens to their body, therefore no other person or group should make that choice for them. The right of a competent, terminally ill person to choose to hasten the inevitable is just another liberty interest that is being interfered with by the government (Quill). When a personal choice like assisted suicide presents itself, it should be dwelled upon and taken very seriously. In most cases it is a decision of great magnitude and should be treated as exactly that. In an opinionated article, “Planning for Worse Than Taxes” by the Los Angeles Times, they agree that patients and their family members should be left to make these decisions, but all too often it is the government that has the most control over these matters. They also state that 75% of hospital deaths are already negotiated and planned as most terminally-ill patients and their loved ones plan with the doctor to take steps in quickening the process (Planning). So, if most people who choose to accept the end of life are taking measures to get there quicker, why do we have a law that only forces suffering upon them? As governments continue to oppose and outlaw euthanasia, they are depriving these patients and their loved ones of an option that could be the best course of action in these intensely personal and heavily emotional situations. In a landmark Supreme Court case, Vacco v. Quill, the U.S. appeals court even stated the following:
...It seems clear that [the government] does not treat similarly circumstanced persons alike: those in the final stages of terminal illness who are on life-support systems are allowed to hasten their deaths by directing the removal of such systems; but those who are similarly situated, except for the previous attachment of life-sustaining equipment, are not allowed to hasten death by self-administering prescribed drugs... The New York statutes criminalizing assisted suicide violate the Equal Protection Clause because, to the extent that they prohibit a...

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