The right to die movement entered the United States in 1980, when a man helped his dying wife ends her life. This man then found the Hemlock Society - an organization that would help terminally ill patients die in peace, and advocated for laws supporting physician assisted suicide. After this event, the movement took charge, finding itself being argued in court numerous times. Debates went on as more and more doctors were being charged with murder as they accommodated their suffering patient’s wishes to die with the method of euthanization - a painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable or painful disease. States began to propose legislation giving these terminally ill patients to be able to choose to die - and although many states rejected it at first, the matter still never left the courthouse. In 1994 the state of Oregon passed the “Death with Dignity Act” allowing “terminally ill adults likely to die within six months to obtain a prescription for lethal medicine from a doctor” - serving as a milestone in the right to die movement. In 2008 Washington becomes the second state to permit physician assisted suicide, and the year after Montana’s Supreme Court ruled that “doctors [couldn’t] be prosecuted for helping to hasten the death of terminally ill patients” (“1980”).
However, despite the support that this right to die movement had gained, there was opposition as states like California, Michigan, and Maine rejected it. The divided opinions of the nation then lead to the controversial question: Should terminally ill patients have the right to choose to die? However, with religion aside, the answer leans towards “yes.” Terminally ill patients should have the righ...
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... to die with dignity too” (Lee, “Life, Liberty, and the Right to Die”).
The terminally ill having the right to die is not only found within the context of our Declaration of Independence, but serves a better economic option for both patients and doctors, and most importantly, allows the patients to die with dignity. Patients who are suffering from an illness that has no hope for a cure or recovery should be allowed the make the conscious choice of whether or not they want to continue with treatment, or end their suffering early. Regardless of the reason the patient chooses to die, the bottom line is that every human being has the right to live their lives the way they want to and make their own decision. They have the right to have the liberty to pursue their own happiness, and if that happiness is to die, that right and that choice should be respected and upheld.
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