The word “Euthanasia” originates from the Greek language and translated it means good “death”. Today, it is the act of ending another person’s life at their request, to minimize their suffering. There is much debate on whether this practice should be legal and the moral implications behind this choice. If you have the right to live, should you also have the right to choose how you die? Support for euthanasia has been dated back to the Ancient Greek and Roman cultures in 16th century. Today, only 42 percent of Americans support euthanasia and 22 percent are unsure (Ertelt, 2010). Back in the 1970’s, a movement known as the “Right to Die” Movement began to move towards legalizing euthanasia (Yount, 12). Currently legal assisted suicide is only allowed in four states across the United States and is against the law otherwise. Legal physician-assisted suicide, or euthanasia, should be a right for terminally ill patients as it provides the freedom of choice, is a humane way to allow the terminally ill to die without immense pain and suffering, and will lessen the financial burden for families and the healthcare system.
Supporters of the “Right to Die” movement believe patients should have the freedom of choice to decide their course of treatment and the ability to choose when to end their life. For terminally ill patients, where death is inevitable and would be less painful than living, euthanasia should be an available treatment option. Patients facing a long battle with a terminal illness should be allowed the choice to end their life if they wish. Many supporters of euthanasia contest that patients have a legal right to die. Since a patient can refuse medical treatment that could result in their death why then can they not choose to...
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Hartocollis, A. (2009, December 26). Months to Live - Hard Choice for a Comfortable Death - Sedation - Series - NYTimes.com. Retrieved May 17, 2014, from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/27/health/27sedation.html?pagewanted=all
New York State Department of Health (1994). Chapter 6 - Crafting Public Policy on Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia. Retrieved from http://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/task_force/reports_publications/when_death_is_sought/chap6.htm
Pasternak, S. (2013, June 3). The Third Rail of U.S. Health Care Policy: | Medicare News Group. Retrieved May 15, 2014, from http://www.medicarenewsgroup.com/context/understanding-medicare-blog/understanding-medicare-blog/2013/06/03/end-of-life-care-constitutes-third-rail-of-u.s.-health-care-policy-debate
Yount, L. (2000). Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. New York: Facts On File.