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Euthanasia: The Right to Die Essay

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Euthanasia, which is also referred to as mercy killing, is the act of ending someone’s life either passively or actively, usually for the purpose of relieving pain and suffering. “All forms of euthanasia require an intention to accelerate death in order to benefit patients experiencing a poor quality of life” (Sayers, 2005). It is a highly controversial subject that often leaves a person with mixed emotions and beliefs. Opinions regarding this topic hinge on the health and mental state of the victim as well as method of death. It raises legal issues as well as the issue of morals and ethics. Euthanasia is divided into two different categories, passive euthanasia and active euthanasia. “There are unavoidable uncertainties in both active and passive euthanasia. Doctors may disagree over a prognosis. A patient may be so depressed by pain that one day he wants out, while the next day, with some surcease, he has a renewed will to live. There is the problem of heirs who may be thinking more of the estate than of the patient when the time to pull the plug is discussed.” (Cont, 1973)
“Passive euthanasia involves omitting to provide (withholding or withdrawing) life-prolonging treatment” (Sayers, 2005). Included methods of death would include removal of life support, the stopping of medical procedures, elimination of food and water, and refraining from use of CPR. Legal issues rarely arise from passive euthanasia. Physicians have the right to withhold food and water from comatose patients where swallowing is dangerous. Guardians and powers of attorney’s regularly sign DNR requests that give medical officials the right to refrain from resuscitating a patient. Removing a patient from life support when there is no hope is perfectly legal a...


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...t of legalization of mercy killings also known as euthanasia to waver. Far more often, I support the right to die. In conclusion, I believe that euthanasia deserves legal support but needs clear and concise legal restrictions and strict guidelines protecting the rights of suffering individuals. Our legal system allows an individual the right to end the suffering of a beloved pet. Human beings merit equal rights.










Works Cited

Betzold, M. (1997). THE SELLING OF DOCTOR DEATH. New Republic, 00286583, 22-28.
Campbell, C. (1996, sept/oct). Oregon's new way to die. Hastings Center Report, p. 2.
Cont, G. (1973). Deciding When Death Is Better Than Life. Time, 40-44.
Haigh, C. (1997). THE EUTHANASIA WAR . Economist, 21-24.
Sayers, G. (2005). Non-Voluntary Passive Euthanasia:The Social Consequences of Euphemisms. European Journal of Health Law, 221-240.



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