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Doctor-Assisted Suicide Should be Legalized

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“Dogs do not have many advantages over people, but one of them is extremely important: euthanasia is not forbidden by law in their case; animals have the right to a merciful death.”

― Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

One of the most controversial topics that is being debated today, both morally and legally, is assisted suicide, sometimes known as active euthanasia. Assisted suicide is the act of directly intervening in order to end the life of a terminally ill patient (i.e. administering a large amount of sleeping pills). The word "euthanasia", comes from Latin "eu" for "good" and "thanatos" for "death" (OCRT 1). Many people in this country are existing in a "living death", suffering on a day to day basis. The Declaration of Independence endows three basic rights to all Americans: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Living in constant pain and agony is a violation of these most basic rights. Terminal illnesses compromise the well being of not only the patient, but also their families, friends, and doctors. People are entitled to request that their life be terminated through medical methods in situations which destroy any hope for quality of life.

Many people are against an assisted suicide system. While religion plays a major role in the opposition of euthanasia (many religions, including Christianity and Judaism, are not only against assisted suicide but suicide altogether), the heart of their opposition is the fact that an elderly or poor patient may be coerced into choosing euthanasia by cost-conscious family members or their doctors (Klaidman 62). They feel that an exploitation of a euthanasia system is inevitable. However, these abuses and exploitations can be prevented through a strict regu...

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Works Cited

"Before the Court, the Sanctity of Life and Death." Various authors. The New York Times . 5 Jan. 2007.

Bernards, Neal, ed. Euthanasia . Opposing Viewpoints Ser. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 1989.

"Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide." 2013. Web. 17 April 2015

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Euthanasiaandassistedsuicide/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Flanders, Stephen A. Suicide . Library in a Book Ser. New York: Facts on File, 2011.

Klaidman, Daniel and Reibstein, Larry. "Weighing the Right to Die." Newsweek . 13th Jan. 2013

Long, Robert Emmet, ed. Suicide . The Reference Shelf Ser. New York: The H. W. Wilson Company, 1995.

"Doctor-Assisted Suicide." Web. 17 April 2015

http://endlink.lurie.northwestern.edu/physician_assisted_suicide_debate/what.cfm

Van Beima, David. "Is There a Right to Die?" Time . 13th Jan. 2013: 60-61.
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