Pro Legalization of Euthanasia Essay

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I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint,
my heart is like wax,
it is melted within my breast,
my mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to my jaws,
you lay me in the dust of death
(Psalm 22)

Some might say euthanasia is wrong, it is murder, it is an inhumane act. But is it not inhumane to see another person’s unbearable suffering and not release them when they long to be released? Is it not cruel to watch a person in a vegetative state, with no brainwaves showing, fed by a machine, “breathing” with the help of a machine and not let them be liberated from their pain? Prolonging one’s suffering when an easier, more painless way out is possible is not “the right thing to do”. Giving the person the choice of release is. Euthanasia is.
What is euthanasia? The basic definition of euthanasia is the practice of ending a life so as to release an individual from a painful, incurable disease or intolerable suffering. There are said to be two types of euthanasia: passive and active. Passive euthanasia is “stopping (or not starting) some treatment which allows a person to die, the persons condition causes his or her death” (Mackinnon, 12). An example would be “withdrawing a respirator or feeding tube” (Landau, 80). “Passive euthanasia is a brutal death. Allowing someone to starve to death and die of thirst, the way we do now, is barbaric”. “That’s what the Nazis did in the concentration camps” (quoted in Manipulating Life, 33).
Active euthanasia on the other hand is an act of “merciful killing”. It is defined as “The act of administering a lethal drug, or using other means that cause a persons death” in case of incurable terminal illness (MacKinnon, 126). Euthanasia is...

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...hical Choices in an American Hospital, New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

Landau, Elaine, The Right to Die, Franklin Watts, USA, 1988

MacKinnon, Barbara. Euthanasia, Ethics Theory and Contemporary Issues, second edition. Wadworth Publishing Co 1998.

McCuen, Gary E., Manipulating life: debating the genetic Revolution Gary E. McCuen Publication, Inc, 1985

Report of the Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association. (Transcript), v10, Issues in Law & Medicine, summer, 1994, p 81-90

Thomas A. Shannon, Bioethics: basic writing on the key ethical questions that surround the major, modern biological possibilities and problems, Third Edition, New Jersey, 1987

Varga, Andrew C. The Main Issues in Bioethics. Paulist Press, 1980

Hollard, Ninnet B. Controversy: Shall It Be Legal?

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