Euthanasia, the medical term for assisted suicide or mercy killing, is an issue still being debated almost a hundred years after a proposal to legalize it in Ohio. The medical community was in turmoil even before its legal proposition, unable to decide amongst themselves how to deal with the issue. The same arguments still rage today, though the public is more aware of the issue thanks to high-profile court cases, like the trial of Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Some claim that the terminally ill have a “right to die”, but no human life should end by unnatural means.
As medical technology continues to expand at an astounding rate, doctors are finding treatment for diseases and ailments that would have been untreatable a mere five years ago. The main selling point of euthanasia seems to be to put terminally ill patients out of their misery—but what happens when the medical community finds a way to cure the formerly fatal disease? If the patient is still alive, the new treatments may alleviate their sufferings entirely, but if the patient has already given up hope then they may have unwittingly sacrificed several years of their life.
Advocates of euthanasia that make comparisons of terminally ill patients to animals that are “put to sleep” when they grow old and weak insult the people they describe. Animals do not understand why their bodies no longer work correctly, can take no preventative measures in keeping their bodies healthy, and cannot share the experiences of a lifetime with others.
Suicide has always been a touchy subject for debate. One of the leading causes of death in America, over 30,000 people take their lives every year. Our society’s concern for the people ...
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..., by banning its legal use, hammering out strict guidelines as to what is and what is not considered assisted suicide, and then enforcing those guidelines to the full extent of the law. If we can do this, the argument of how to deal with euthanasia will end, at least in the United States.
“Let Death Be My Dominion.” The Economist. Oct 16, 1999. 353 (1999): 89-92. Proquest. Online. 19 Nov. 1999.
Daniel, Caroline. “Killing with kindness.” New Statesman. 126 (1997): 16(3). Infotrac. Online. 19 Nov. 1999
Emanuel, Ezekiel J. “Death’s Door.” The New Republic. 220 (1999): 15-16. Proquest. Online. 19 Nov. 1999.
Gillon, Raanan. “When Doctors Might Kill Their Patients.” British Medical Journal. 318 (1999): 1431-1432. Proquest. Online. 19 Nov. 1999.
“Suicide.” Clinical Reference Systems. Jul (1999): 1421. Infotrac. Online. 2 Dec. 1999.
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