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Free Euthanasia Essay

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Euthanasia is a private decision that has to be made in unbearable times. It also is a controversial topic in which people on both sides seem to want their will put on the rest of society. One thing we have to keep in mind here is unless you are facing the decision yourself than it is very difficult to say what should happen.
It is interesting in the second reading by Sidney Hook that he chose to die during his ordeal and was refused by the doctor treating him. The doctor proclaimed that he would be thankful one day that he was not allowed to die. He looked deep inside himself and still chose to end his suffering. It turned out that he survived and made a remarkable recovery. Even though, he still says, “Each one should be permitted to make his own choice-especially when no one else is harmed by it. The responsibility for the decision, whether deemed wise or foolish, must be with the chooser.” (404.5). His doctor did not know he would recover for certain and could not see inside of him to determine his breaking point. Yet the doctor decided he would not assist him in dying.

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The third reading by Ernest van den Haag made me realize that people have the right to decide, but the doctors have the right to decide not to participate. This point is illustrated when Haag states, “But why should we enforce the gratification of this wish on those who, for whatever reason, decide not to gratify it?” (408.1). Applied to Sidney Hook’s case the doctor was perfectly right by not helping him end his suffering. Doctors should not have to be forced to aid someone in killing themselves nor should they have to kill the person because the person wants to die. Hook should have been able to request another doctor’s assistance to carry out the task.
This reading also made me think that if the doctors have the right to end patients lives would they abuse it? Would this be a free ticket to commit murder? The doctor could say that the patient requested to die while in intense pain and the doctor complied. Haag states, “... once we allow doctors to shorten the life of patients who request it, doctors could and would wantonly kill burdensome patients who do not want to die.
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