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Should The Way You Die Be Your Choice?

1199 words - 5 pages

The atmosphere around the topic of euthanasia and assisted suicide are controversial and bring up images of frail and suffering people screaming for their lives to end. This leaves you with two choices: to listen and end their lives or to alleviate the pain till it is bearable using modern medicine. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the etymology of the word euthanasia derives from Greek, which means “The action of inducing a gentle and easy death.” With this definition in mind I will determine the pros and cons of assisted suicide and euthanasia by using Neil M. Gorsuch's “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia” and Kathleen Foley's and Herbert Hendin's “The Case against Assisted Suicide” and choose a side. Those who support assisted suicide and euthanasia believe there are social benefits, the ability to choose the way to die and giving compassion to the suffering. Those who are against it believe that lack of palliative care training that will dehumanize patients and have negative impacts on society through the belief that an easy death is the answer.
The side that supports assisted suicide and euthanasia believe that the society as a whole can benefit from it in that it reduces the resources used by the society, as explained, “People who decide not to end their lives early would incur substantial additional cost as they age and become sicker...”(Gorsuch 151) This is becoming a social burden where society will have to pay more to insurance companies and get an increase in taxes to support the terminally ill, when the pain can end swiftly without using anymore resources. For a certain time the euthanasia movement believed that it should be done with out the permission of the patients and some even stated, “society had a duty to kill those with defects because they unnecessarily drained community resources.” (Gorsuch 35) It may sound cruel but if life is being prolonged with the outcome being death the resources could be put to better use.
Those who support assisted suicide and euthanasia also argue that the patient has right to make the choice when it comes to how they die. If you can choose to deny medical treatment, which can lead to death, then assisted suicide and euthanasia will lead to the same result, but one is legally excepted and the other illegal, Justice Scalia makes comical comparison, “say that one may not kill oneself by walking into the sea, but may sit on the beach until submerged by the incoming tide;” (Grouch 50). Also, those who support assisted suicide and euthanasia believe that ending the life of another prematurely so the person will not suffer is an act of compassion has supporters explain, “it generates an obligation to relieve suffering.”(Foley and Hendin 43)
Those who are opposed to assisted suicide and euthanasia believe that lack of trained physicians in palliative care is the problem. When there are more knowledgeable physicians that can help alleviate the pain of those who are suffering it...

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