Euthanasia Should Be A Legal Option Essay

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Euthanasia is a controversial subject, not only because there are many different moral dilemmas associated with it, but also in what constitutes its definition. At the extreme ends of disagreement, advocates say euthanasia, also known as physician aid in dying, is a good or merciful death. Opponents of euthanasia say it's a fancy word for murder.

There are reasons that would make a person lean toward the side of euthanasia, and there are also reasons that would turn someone away from euthanasia. The arguments against euthanasia include the church's view on the topic of suicide. The arguments in favor of euthanasia include the patients wish to have dignity. However, regardless of the patients wishes, suicide is against the law. If a person has a living will, it would allow the doctors to lawfully end any life preserving treatment. Without a living will this cannot be done. The decision to allow a patient to end his or her life is clearly not an easy one. The courts feel that unless there is a living will to state what the patient would want to be done, the authorities must try to save the patient. The law does not require that everything must be done to keep a patient alive. Some people feel that keeping a patient alive against his or her wishes is not only cruel and inhumane, but it is also contrary to law and practice.

However, for centuries now, physicians in training have been taking the ?Hippocratic Oath?. This oath is taken from the Greek physician Hypocrites who lived thousands of years ago. The ?Hippocratic Oath? imposes on two duties: to prolong life, and relieve suffering. The problems come about because these two duties are often in conflict. The question most of the time is to decide when prol...

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...y four hours a day, and I knew my illness was incurable, I would probably want to put an end to that suffering. I would not want my family and loved ones around see me suffer. Also, I would want to die with as much dignity as possible. But then again, I am not in that situation, so I am not positive that is what I would want to do, you just have to be in the situation to make the best possible decision.


1. Friedman,Emily. Ethics Issues For Health Care Professionals. Baskerville: American Hospital Publishing, 1986.

2. Maguire,Daniel. Death By Choice. Garden City: Doubleday & Company,1984.

3. Reich,Warren. Quality Of Life. New York: Paulist Press, 1990.

4. Brody,Baruch. Life And Death Decision Making. New York: Oxford University Press,1988.

5. Chapman,Carleton. Physicians,Law,& Ethics. New York: New York University Press,1984.

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