One of the biggest controversies of this decade is euthanasia. Euthanasia is "inducing the painless death of a person for reasons assumed to be merciful?(Henrickson and Martin 24). There are four types of euthanasia voluntary and direct, voluntary but indirect, direct but involuntary, and indirect and involuntary. Voluntary and direct euthanasia is "chosen and carried out by the patient.? Voluntary but indirect euthanasia is chosen in advance. Direct but involuntary euthanasia is done for the patient without his or her request. Indirect and involuntary euthanasia occurs when a hospital decides that it is time to remove life support (Fletcher 42-3).
Euthanasia can be traced as far back as to the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. It was sometimes allowed in these civilizations to help others die. Voluntary euthanasia was approved in these ancient societies. As time passed, religion increased, and life was viewed to be sacred. Euthanasia in any form was seen as wrong (Encarta 98).
In this century there have been many groups formed that are for and against euthanasia. In 1935 the first group that was for the legalization of euthanasia was formed. It was called the Voluntary Euthanasia Society and was started by a group of doctors in London (The Voluntary Euthanasia Society). The first society established in the United States came shortly after in 1938. It was called the Hemlock Society and it now consists of more than 67,000 members. The purpose of this society is to support your decision to die and to offer support when you are ready to die (Humphrey 186). This society also believes that a person must have believed in euthanasia for a certain amount of time be...
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.... Jack Kevorkian." Online. Internet. 25 Oct. 1996. Final Exit.org.
Fletcher, Joseph. "The Case for Euthanasia." Problems of Death. Ed. David L. Bender. St. Paul: Greenhaven Press, 1981. 37-45.
Harris, Curtis. "Withholding Food and Fluids: What Happens." Life Cycle. April 1991: 4.
Henrickson, John and Thomas Martin. "Euthanasia Should Not Be Permitted." Problems of Death. Ed. David L. Bender. St. Paul: Greenhaven Press, 1981. 23-26.
Horkan, Thomas. "Legislation That Complicates Dying." Eds. Gary McCuen and Therese Boucher. Hudson: Gary McCuen Publications, 1985. 69-72.
Humphry, Derek. Dying With Dignity. New York: Birch Lane, 1992.
Pahl, Stewart. "I Favor Merciful Termination of Life." Problems of Death. Ed. David L. Bender. St. Paul: Greenhaven Press, 1981. 18-22.
Voluntary Euthanasia Society. Online. Internet. 14 Jan. 1999. ves.com.
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