The Euthanasia Debate

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Humans, like all animals, attempt to evade death. Though death is usually seen as an unwanted end, some see it as an alternative to suffering. Most people cringe at the thought of suicide, but is euthanasia the same thing? Do human beings have the right to choose death? “Americans have developed a paradoxical relationship with death-we know more about the causes and conditions surrounding death, but we have not equipped ourselves emotionally to cope with dying and death (Bender and B. Leone).” Death is a scary subject for all humans. And death caused by oneself, or suicide, is even scarier. Suicide on a medical terms, or euthanasia, confuses many people. It poses many moral questions to humans: should it be allowed? How is this act human? How can we allow people to kill themselves? The other side of the argument questions: How can we not let humans decide when to die? What right do we have to stop someone from killing themself? But the almighty question many people want to know is “why.” Why? Why would someone do this? The “why” cannot always be determined, but humans’ irrational search for the reasons behind every action is never ending. As you may guess, the opposing arguments are almost infinite. Who can say one is right and the other wrong? I most certainly cannot, but I will attempt to answer all these questions and more in an unbiased fashion. To start, I want to clarify some important terms. Euthanasia is a death that is intended to benefit the person who dies. It also requires another individual to perform a “final act.” This is usually a doctor-patient team. Physician-assisted suicide is when the patient performs the “final act.” The two involve intentionally ending a human life (Kamm). Passive euthanasia is whe...

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