Persuasive Essay Euthanasia

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Right to Die
The right of someone to take their own life has been a topic of debate since the time of Romans. In this paper euthanasia will be discussed including the history, current legislation, reasons for, reasons against, and the authors opinion on the topic. With an aging population, increasing lifespan, and an increasing rate of cancers euthanasia will become a larger topic of discussion in the years to come.
Euthanasia was common practice in ancient Greece and Rome, the Hippocratic school of thought came around and pledged never to do bodily harm. When the movement began they were the minority but with the rise in Christianity euthanasia became uncommon throughout Europe. Euthanasia has been written about as early as 1516 in Utopia written by Sir Thomas
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Shortly after these debates details about the Nazi death camps of World War II and the role physicians played in the camps silenced supporters of euthanasia. As medical technology continued to advance and the availability and use of life support sparked a new debate about euthanasia. Patients have the right to refuse medical care even care that would sustain life (Emanuel, 1994). Currently this is referred to as a DNR or Do Not Resuscitate order. The right of patients to deny care calls to question if the patient can choose to die why can the not request euthanasia. In 1975 Karen Ann Quinlan lapsed into a coma after taking tranquilizers and drinking alcohol then slipped into a “chronic persistent vegetative state” Karen’s parents requested that physicians remove her life support and let her pass. The case was appealed to the New Jersey Supreme Court the parents argued that life sustaining treatments implicated the patients right to privacy. Roe V. Wade established a woman’s right to privacy in her right to terminate a pregnancy. The result of the Quinlan’s case was that they could remove Karen’s life support (Doerr, 1997). In 1990 the Patient Self Determination Act

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