Human Beings Have a Right to Die

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Do people have the right to die? Is there, in fact, a right to die? Assisted suicide is a controversial topic in the public eye today. Individuals choose their side of the controversy based on a number of variables ranging from their religious views and moral standings to political factors. Several aspects of this issue have been examined in books, TV shows, movies, magazine articles, and other means of bringing the subject to the attention of the public. However, perhaps the best way to look at this issue in the hopes of understanding the motives behind those involved is from the perspective of those concerned: the terminally ill and the disabled. Imagine, if you can, having altzheimers disease. Sometimes you are completely aware of everything around you, but at other times you can not even remember the names of your spouse or children. One morning, you wake up, and being completely aware, you go to the store, only to find when you get there that you can't remember how to get home. The disease you have will continue to grow worse, and your condition will deteriorate until your mental faculties are so diminished that you will not even be able to remember how to put on your shoes. At this point, with all your abilities either gone or dwindling, you will have lost your independence and be forced to rely completely on others to live your life. Imagine, again, suffering a traumatic accident that has rendered you paralyzed from the chin down and dependent on a respirator to breathe for you. Suddenly, life as you knew it is gone. You can not do anything for yourself, not even so much as breathe for yourself and keep yourself alive. Any and all of your daily maintenance is preformed by someone else. You have no abilities, no... ... middle of paper ... ...8-22. Works Consulted: Journal Articles "Euthanasia, Voluntary" from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy "Assisted Suicide: Finding Common Ground." Lois Snyder, JD; and Authur L. Caplan, PhD. Annals of Internal Medicine. March 21, 2000. v.132, n.6 "Legalized Physician-Assisted Suicide in Oregon ñ The Second Year." Amy D. Sullivan, Katrina Hedberg, David W. Fleming. The New England Journal of Medicine. February 24, 2000. v.342, n.8 Books Hamel, R., DuBose, E. (1996) Must We Suffer Our Way To Death? Texas: Southern Methodist University Press Horkan, Thomas. "Legislation That Complicates Dying." Eds. Gary McCuen and Therese Boucher. Hudson: Gary McCuen Publications, 1985. 69-72. Shavelson, L. (1995) A Chosen Death. New York: Simon & Schuster Uhlmann, M. (1998) . Last Rights? Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

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