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Euthanasia: We All Have the Right to Die

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Physician-Assisted Suicide, or Euthanasia, is a serious issue, and it affects people throughout all walks of life. From teenagers with angst, to older adults feeling hopeless in their life, to the elderly suffering from terminal illnesses, suicide pervades throughout their thought processes as an alternative to their emotionally and physically pervasive situations. Euthanasia, or physician-assisted suicide, has a history dating back to the seventeenth century. Only recently has it become as controversial an issue as it has.

Why is euthanasia such a touchy, beat around the bush kind of term? Like abortion, euthanasia’s arguments center on right vs. wrong in the social spectrum. In “Euthanasia Reconsidered — The Choice of Death as an Aspect of the Right of Privacy,” Richard Delgado states that the similarities between euthanasia and abortion “extend beyond constitutional doctrine to the social ramifications of present mercy-killing law. Like the prohibition of abortion, current law barring euthanasia subordinates tangible social needs to… moral convictions” (479). Issues such as the rising rate of population, pollution and poverty are all related to euthanasia as an acceptable legislation. Shouldn’t these larger world issues be more alarming than the loss of a life? Arthur Imhof, a leading German representative of historical demography, argues that, “Along with the increase of our earthly life expectancy there has been a totally different, countervailing development… because of the loss of faith in the Beyond [our lives have] become infinitely shorter” (Spiro et al. 115). From the religious side of the argument, he says that the doubling of our earthly years means little in comparison to the loss of faith in an eternity. Our g...

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...31.2 (1994): 119-23. Google Scholar. Web. 2 Nov. 2011.
Sclar, David. “U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in Gonzales v. Oregon Upholds the Oregon Death with Dignity Act.” The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 34.3 (2006): 639-43.Google Scholar. Web. 2 Nov. 2011.
Shakespeare, William, Burton Raffel, and Harold Bloom.Hamlet. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003. WorldCat. Web. 2 Nov. 2011.
Spiro, Howard M., Mary G. McCrea. Curnen, and Lee Palmer. Wandel. Facing Death: Where Culture, Religion, and Medicine Meet. New Haven: Yale UP, 1996. Print.
Wilson, Keith G., John F. Scott, Ian D. Graham, Jean F. Kozak, Susan Chater, Raymond A. Viola, Barbara J. De Faye, Lynda A. Weaver, and Dorothyann Curran. “Attitudes of Terminally Ill Patients toward Euthanasia and Physician-assisted Suicide.” Archives of Internal Medicine 160.16 (2000): 2454-460. Google Scholar. Web. 10 Nov. 2011.

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