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Physician-Assisted Suicide

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“Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia have been profound ethical issues confronting doctors since the birth of Western medicine, more than 2,000 years ago” (Ezekiel Emanuel). This quote speaks for itself. Death by assistance, suicide, and euthanasia have been controversial since their beginning and they will continue to be controversial. Americans throughout all states disagree as to whether euthanasia should be legal throughout the country. For many reasons, doctors, patients, citizens, and governments throughout the world have kept euthanasia from being widely legalized. Some of the reasons are: doctors should not directly cause death, euthanasia is a slippery slope, and that euthanasia devalues life. Because of these reasons, Americans should not allow euthanasia to continue to spread throughout the states. The word “euthanasia” comes from the Greek and means “good death” (Nargus). “Euthanasia” refers to the ending of a life. It is also known as “mercy killing” (Nargus). The ancients Greeks were generally tolerant of suicide, however great philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle argued against assisted suicide (Uhlmann 25-32). This most likely influenced many Western countries to refrain from legalizing and practicing euthanasia until the 1900s. A “euthanasia” program in Nazi Germany killed 200,000 or more in Germany and Austria during World War II. This program’s purpose was not to relieve pain, nor was it an act of mercy. Its purpose was to kill people with mental and physical handicaps. In 1934 there was an attempt by Nazi Germany to produce a “superior” race via a sterilization campaign to prevent handicapped people from having children. In 1939, Hitler decreed a euthanasia program be implemented t... ... middle of paper ... ...4. Engdahl, Sylvia, ed. Euthanasia. Detroit: Greenhaven, 2007. Print. Hui, Edwin C., and Gibbard W. Benton. "Welcome to HUMANE Health Care..."Welcome to HUMANE Health Care... N.p., 2005. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. Medina, Loreta M., ed. Euthanasia. Detroit: Greenhaven, 2005. Print. Nargus, Ebrahimi. "The Ethics of Euthanasia." Australian Medical Student Journal RSS. N.p., 2012. Web. 23 Apr. 2014. Nordqvist, Christian. "What Is Euthanasia (assisted Suicide)? What Is the Definition of Assisted Suicide or Euthanasia." Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 2010. Web. 30 Apr. 2014. "Physician-Assisted Suicide: The Legal Slippery Slope." Medical News Today. N.p., 2001. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. White, Hilary. "Abortion and Euthanasia Bringing about the Demise of Catholic Health Care: Prominent Catholic Obstet | LifeSiteNews.com."LifeSiteNews. N.p., 12 Nov. 2008. Web. 7 May 2014.
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