Death with Dignity (Euthanasia) Essays

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What is the value of life exactly? Who decides whether or not someone’s life is valuable? These and many other questions are asked when the controversial topic of euthanasia is discussed. Certain groups and different politicians disapprove of the legalization of euthanasia, arguing that it is immoral and unethical. Doctors use modern medicine and expanding technology to “extend” one’s life. However, court mandates and/or politicians should not decide our rights. Especially when it involves our own bodies. When we feel as though we should end the pain and suffering from a terminal illness, then I believe it’s our autonomy. The individual and/or the individual’s family should make the final decision. A patient of a fatal disease such as cancer ought to have the right to be granted a dignified death, free of shame. Forcing a human to sit in a bed endlessly suffering, spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in a prolonged death is a waste of time, money, and avoidable pain. America was built on freedom and the individual choices we make: choosing how and when we want to end our life should be a legal freedom of every American citizen. Liberty is a constitutional right; if death is the only feasible method of liberation- so be it.
Euthanasia can be traced as far back as to the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. The word “euthanasia” comes from the Greek language, meaning “good death” (Jussim 45). It was sometimes acceptable in these ancient societies (Jussim 45). As time passed, religious influence grew, and life was viewed as a sacred gift from the creator. Euthanasia, in any form, was deemed wrong.
In this century, there have been many groups formed that are for and against euthanasia. In 1935, the first group that was f...

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... life should be a legal freedom of every American citizen.

Works Cited
Finsterbusch, Kurt, George McKenna. Taking Sides: Clashing views on Controversial Social
Issues. New York: The Dushkin Publishing Group, Inc., 1992
Henrickson, John and Thoman Martin. “Euthanasia Should Not Be Permitted.” Problems of
Death. Ed. David L. Bender. St. Paul: Greenhaven Press, 1981. 23-26
Jussim Daniel. “The Right to Die Issue.” Euthanasia. New York: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 1993.
Landau, Elaine. The Right to Die. Chicago: Franklin Watts Publishers, 1993.
Robinson, B.A. Web. February 2005 “Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide.”
Weil, Peter A. Time Magazine Interview. 21 February 2005.
Washington State Department of Health. Web. 10 March 2011. “Washington State Death With
Dignity Act”

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