Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Essay

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Essay

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Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

There has been much debate over euthanasia and assisted suicide with
no agreement in sight. Currently Oregon is the only state that allows
euthanasia and assisted suicide in the United States. Like all
questions involving the projection of personal beliefs upon the fate
of an entire population, this is an issue that may never be resolved.

Euthanasia and assisted suicide are methods people may take to end
their lives either on their own with lethal prescriptions from
physicians, or under the care of a doctor or assistant with various
methods, lethal injection and the "pulling of the plug" on life
support machines being the most common. An assisted suicide would be
granted only to a person "who is terminally ill, and who feels that
their life is not worth living because of intractable pain, and/or
loss of dignity, and/or loss of capability and who repeatedly and
actively asks for help in committing suicide and who is of sound mind
and not suffering from depression". [Robinson]

Conservative religious groups, and some medical associations and
disability groups are the most common protesters of assisted suicide.
Many fundamentalist religions believe that it violates the natural
desire to live, it harms other people, and ultimately, that life is a
gift from God and should only be taken by God. [Robinson] Some
disability groups fear that assisted suicide may lead to more cases of
people being killed against their will in order to fulfill society's
desire for a disability-free population. Medical associations often
disagree because their goals are often to extend and prolong life as
long as possible. Th...


... middle of paper ...


...g. To rule out the
option completely is taking away a personal human right.

As with most ethical squabbles, the debate over legal euthanasia is a
personal one. The desire is strong, in government and religion, to
decide the fate of it's people based on individual position. It seems
that personal choice is the only resolution to the debate over
euthanasia. Those opposed to assisted suicide would not choose to have
one and would respect the choice of others to live or end their lives
as they so choose. Assisted death is not something to be taken lightly
or to be used often. Strict laws to govern the use are necessary. In
conclusion, a quote by Derek Humphrey, a euthanasia advocate,
describes the necessary conditions for euthanasia. He said,
"Euthanasia should always be voluntary, justified, legal, and rare."
[Gray]

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