A Brief Note On Physician Assisted Suicide And Euthanasia

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People are living longer than they had a decade ago. However, is their quality of life healthier, can they manage their life entirely? In some cases, no, and Brittney Maynard’s circumstance are one of them. She has a category of cancer that is only going to get worse as time goes by; Brittney has looked into Physician Assisted Suicide. Starting in the 1990’s people began calling this the right-to-die movement. There was one doctor that took matters in his own hands, his name is Dr. Kevorkian. While Dr. Kevorkian did help those who would seek to end their lives peacefully he actually publically scoffed at the efforts brought forth to change the laws surrounding the right-to-die movement. However, that did not stop other health professionals who would let people know they were opposed to his tactics suggesting he would have people fly in to Michigan one day and be dead the next. Currently they call it ‘Death with Dignity’ though other health professionals were split on whether they felt what Kevorkian did was giving those with terminal illnesses a dignified death. There are at this time only five states that allow ‘Death with Dignity.’ Though before Dr. Kevorkian became the publically known doctor who helped those suffering from terminal illnesses there had already been a sort of movement in place known as ‘The Hemlock Society’ which had already been in existence for ten years with 20,000 members. In 1976 California passed the first Living Will Law which is a legal document that allows people to state their wishes for end of life care. All of this was before Kevorkian was a public face for death with dignity so while he is a well-known name whenever the topic is brought up and he did serve eight years behind bars for h... ... middle of paper ... ...n the time was right she could put an end to her suffering in a peaceful manner. Brittany even stated ‘when my suffering becomes too great, I can say to all those I love ‘I love you; come be by my side, and come say goodbye as I pass.’’ So who are we to suggest a person cannot choose what Brittany did? Have you ever been forced to watch a family member or a loved one slowly waste away in a painful haze barely recognizable to even those closest to them? When you think about what Dr. Kevorkian gave to those he helped was it really so bad? Imagine if there was no one to help those suffering from terminal illnesses for a moment. Instead of a planned and peaceful end that would allow a person to say their final good byes and make peace with their decision, people who could no longer stand the pain may decide on a much worse option scarring the family they leave behind.

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