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The Euthanasia Debate Essay

1193 words - 5 pages

There are many different point of views on Euthanasia and whether or not it should be legalized. Many believe that since it is our bodies and our lives, we have the right to choose when we no longer want to live. On the other hand, there are great amounts of people who believe that euthanasia is considered murder and is not ethical. “One thing on which we all agree is that there is a true national crisis that surrounds the way Americans are dying” (Dr. Ira Byock.) The purpose of this paper is not to support either side, rather this paper will discuss what euthanasia really is, the past of euthanasia, and both the positive and negative sides of euthanasia.
Euthanasia and its history
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Euthanasia “is the act or practice of killing someone who is very sick or injured in order to prevent any more suffering.” Euthanasia has an intention of killing by either act or omission, intention is the keyword that defines euthanasia, if it was not intended, then it is not euthanasia. But where did the practice of euthanasia come from? According to euthanasia.com the history of euthanasia traces back all the way to about 400 B.C. and was called The Hippocratic Oath by the Greek physician Hippocrates, in his oath he said: “"I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel" (euthanasia.com). The use and laws of euthanasia continues throughout the 14th, 18th, 19th, and 20th century, but the most common history of euthanasia known is during The Holocaust. In 1939 Hitler ordered widespread “mercy killing” for men, women, and children who were sick, as well as for the children and adults who were disabled. Today euthanasia has become controversial and has been legalized in three states of the United States, Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg (euthanasia.com). Euthanasia is usually used for people who are terminally ill and are suffering and feel as if they are a burden to their loved ones. Euthanasia can also be used for people who suffer through a major depressive disorder and no longer want to live or feel the need to live, or even those who suffer the effects of medicine.
The Pros of Euthanasia
Jack Kevorikan once said: “Dying is not a crime” (Jack) and those who support euthanasia can all agree on that statement and these two main points for euthanasia: we shouldn’t go through pain that we can no longer bear and it saves lives.
The first point is that we shouldn’t go through unbearable pain. Every person has the right to pain relief and the major argument about euthanasia is that the people asking for it are in crucial pain, are terminally ill, and no longer wants to suffer. In other words, euthanasia is the last resort for a patient. When doctors are doing all that they can, and the patient is in agony and can not bear another day of their misery, then euthanasia is an option to consider for some.
The second point is that euthanasia saves lives. That’s right,...

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