Should Adults Have The Right To Die As They Choose?

1744 words - 7 pages

During one of his numerous trials regarding his involvement in assisted suicides and instances of euthanasia, Dr. Jack Kevorkian defended his practice stating, “My intent was to carry out my duty as a doctor, to end their suffering. Unfortunately, that entailed, in their cases, ending of the life (Lessenberry 2)”. Dr. Kevorkian, also known as “Dr. Death”, is the most well know right-to-die activist who euthanized and assisted in the suicides of at least 130 people. His trials not only stirred up controversy; they also helped to bring attention to a very important alternative that a number of adults should have access to. If we so readily are willing to euthanize our ailing pets why should we feel differently towards ourselves and loved ones? Should chronically ailing, terminally ill, or mentally anguished patients have the right to request suicidal assistance? Would a Living Will protect you from living the rest of your life in an undesirable state? In essence, our life and physical body belong to ourselves therefore we should have complete control of what we choose to do with it. If humans have the right-to-life should they not also have the right-to-death? I believe that it should be the right of every adult who suffers from a chronic, debilitating condition, terminal illness, or mental distress to have the right to die as they so choose.
The word euthanasia originated from the Greek language: "eu" means "good" and "thanatos" means "death." A study conducted found that most North Americans experience a “bad” death. "More often than not, patients died in pain, their desires concerning treatment neglected, after spending 10 days or more in an intensive care unit"(“Right To Die”). Wouldn’t most humans prefer to experience a pain free death? In a stunt created in protest of the laws preventing “mercy killings”, Dr. Kevorkian sent a videotape of himself injecting lethal drugs into a 52 year old man named Thomas Youk. Mr. Youk was suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease and had enlisted the help of Dr. Kevorkian after suffering from the degenerative disease for 2 years. He did not wish to live any longer and gave full authority to Dr. Kevorkian before the procedure. On November 22nd, 1998, “60 Minutes” broadcast the tape which lead to a shocked nation and the subsequent eight year prison sentence that followed his 2nd degree murder conviction (James). Although popular for animals, euthanasia of human beings brings about controversy. Most of you have experienced having to put down a beloved pet. When animals are in irrevocable pain and suffering we see it as the humane alternative. Vet bills skyrocket while we watch our furry best-friends try to fight to live; in some cases we are the only one who is truly fighting. No one wants to lose such a dear part of their life. Why is it, when we see our family members afflicted with the same incurable illnesses and excruciating pain, we fight so hard to prevent them from having the same option? Prolonged...

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