Dying With Dignity

Dying With Dignity

Length: 1105 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Dying With Dignity

I am here today to explain the different legal aspects euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. There are two sides to this controversy, and their basic ideas are of the following: terminally ill patients should be allowed to end their lives with dignity.
Physician-assisted suicide is a compassionate solution to human suffering, and should not be criminalized, and that doctors should be in the business of saving lives, not ending them. Allowing physicians to aid in suicides makes them accomplices in an immoral and unethical act.

Every individual has dominion over their body and should be allowed to decide when to end their life. To achieve that end, with dignity and without pain, doctors should be allowed to aid terminal patients by providing necessary doses of drugs (under the Oregon law, doctors are not allowed to administer the drugs; they are only allowed to prescribe a lethal dose.) The only other places in the world that currently have legalized euthanasia are Columbia, Japan and the Netherlands.

Many pro-life activists believe that the choice between life and death belongs to God, not to an individual. Our society today does not condone suicide under any circumstances and there is no moral difference in this case. In addition, it is felt that many terminally ill patients suffering extreme pain may not be competent to make a rational decision about whether they want to live or die. The role of doctors in this complex situation is to provide medical treatment when possible, and appropriate pain relief when treatment options have been exhausted. By assisting patients in suicide, doctors play a role that is contrary to the mission of their profession.

An excelled example of physician-assisted suicide is the famous practice of Dr. Jack Kevorkian. In March 1999, he was convicted of second-degree murder and the delivery of a controlled substance for assisting in the death of a terminally ill patient. For his participation in the man's death, which was videotaped and shown on the television show "60 Minutes," Dr. Kevorkian was sentenced to 10 to 25 years in prison. However, despite Dr. Kevorkian’s prison sentence, last October, the U.S. House of Representatives passed "The Pain Relief Promotion Act," which encouraged doctors to take all possible action to relieve the pain of terminally ill patients, short of prescribing lethal doses of medication, however, currently Oregon is the only state that has legalized physician-assisted suicide.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Dying With Dignity." 123HelpMe.com. 24 Feb 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=39159>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Dying with Dignity

- To live or not to live. This has been the question for many people who have a terminal illness. Many people suffer everyday with terminal illness, and they cannot do anything to improve their conditions. According to the article “Identifying Terminal Illness (TERI) Cases,” a terminal illness is when someone cannot go back to being a healthy person. The patient expects death, and any treatment is not going to do any good to the person. People who have this illness resort to an alternative called euthanasia....   [tags: Terminal Illnesses, Assisted Suicide]

Research Papers
976 words (2.8 pages)

Hospice Care: Death With Dignity Essay

- The beginning of life is celebrated. Books and resources are shared among friends and family in preparation for becoming a new parent. So, what happens as one approaches the end of life. Unfortunately, the same care and sharing rarely occurs in those circumstances and many face the prospect of dying unprepared. Though most people state they would prefer to die at home, this is often not where death occurs. Many Americans spend their last days attached to medical apparatus that keeps the body alive, but it does not allow for communication with family and often requires heavy sedation....   [tags: Dying with Dignity]

Research Papers
1930 words (5.5 pages)

Euthanasia: Dying with Dignity Essay

- Euthanasia: Dying with Dignity Someday, a loved one may be faced with tough times or a terrible tragedy that leaves them in pain and agony for the rest of their life. It may not happen today, tomorrow, or even next month, but it is always a good idea to have a well thought out plan. A terminal illness could strike at any minute such as Lou Gehrig’s disease, or a car accident could leave someone paralyzed and miserable for the rest of their life. Permitting euthanasia would give the people the right to die with dignity and give them the option to not have to go through the pain, suffering, and stressful effects of a terminal illness....   [tags: hippocratic oath, pain, agony, pros and cons]

Research Papers
3332 words (9.5 pages)

Legalization Of Voluntary Euthanasia Dying With Dignity Essay

- 11/17/2014 Words: 1920 words Legalization Of Voluntary Euthanasia-Dying With Dignity Have you ever come across a word that if uttered can shake your soul. Give you goosebumps and make you repent your sins. The five-letter word “Death” completely fits this description.You never know when you might be isolated from the world and be buried in a graveyard, the dark and gloomy underground arena where hidden atrocities of the earth await you, to consume you....   [tags: Euthanasia, Death, Human rights, Medical ethics]

Research Papers
1706 words (4.9 pages)

Legalization of Euthanasia: Dying With Dignity Essay

- Euthanasia is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy.” However, despite its merciful nature the practice of euthanasia is still illegal in most of North America, due to fears of its abuse, religious conflicts, and archaic societal values. The legalization of euthanasia in Canada would allow patients who are suffering or who are unable to maintain any kind of quality of life (as well as their families) to accept death with dignity and minimal emotional trauma, lower healthcare costs as public resources would...   [tags: society, death, life]

Research Papers
1363 words (3.9 pages)

Dying With Dignity Essay

- Dying With Dignity I am here today to explain the different legal aspects euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. There are two sides to this controversy, and their basic ideas are of the following: terminally ill patients should be allowed to end their lives with dignity. Physician-assisted suicide is a compassionate solution to human suffering, and should not be criminalized, and that doctors should be in the business of saving lives, not ending them. Allowing physicians to aid in suicides makes them accomplices in an immoral and unethical act....   [tags: social issues]

Free Essays
1105 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about The Euthanasia Lobby Has Hijacked ' Dying With Dignity

- It has been a controversial issue whether terminally ill patients should have the right to choose the timing and manner of their deaths. The Age launched a campaign to support patients will long-term sickness should have the right to choose to die or not. The editorial “Righting a travesty for the terminally ill” (The Age, 10 November 2014) contends in a controlled and affirmative that The Age call on the Federal Parliament that they should acknowledge the fact terminally ill patients should have the right to choose the timing and manner of their death, under regulated circumstances....   [tags: Death, Euthanasia, The Age, Old age]

Research Papers
1354 words (3.9 pages)

Essay about Dignity and Sacrifice Depicted in Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying

- In Ernest J. Gaines novel A Lesson Before Dying, a young African-American man named Jefferson is caught in the middle of a liquor shootout, and, as the only survivor, is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. During Jefferson’s trial, the defense attorney had called him an uneducated hog as an effort to have him released, but the jury ignored this and sentenced him to death by electrocution anyways. Appalled by this, Jefferson’s godmother, Miss Emma, asks the sheriff if visitations by her and the local school teacher, Grant Wiggins, would be possible to help Jefferson become a man before he dies....   [tags: A Lesson Before Dying]

Research Papers
693 words (2 pages)

Legalizing Euthanasia for Terminally Ill Patients is Neccesary Essay examples

- On average, 151, 600 people die per day (Ross). Countless people live in fear of death, due to the massive uncertainties. They fear the pain and suffering that often precedes death, so they do everything they can to stay alive, even if it means staying connected to life support for months, completely immobile and unresponsive. Because medical technology has advanced substantially in recent years, scientists have created ways to achieve an easy and simple death, now known as euthanasia. In Greek, euthanasia translates to “easy or painless death” (Barnard)....   [tags: dying with dignity, pain, suffering]

Research Papers
1190 words (3.4 pages)

Human Dignity in A Lesson Before Dying Essay

- Human Dignity in A Lesson Before Dying   Grant and Jefferson are on a journey. Though they have vastly different educational backgrounds, their commonality of being black men who have lost hope brings them together in the search for the meaning of their lives. In the 1940’s small Cajun town of Bayonne, Louisiana, blacks may have legally been emancipated, but they were still enslaved by the antebellum myth of the place of black people in society. Customs established during the years of slavery negated the laws meant to give black people equal rights and the chains of tradition prevailed leaving both Grant and Jefferson trapped in mental slavery in their communities....   [tags: Ernest J. Gaines]

Research Papers
1355 words (3.9 pages)

Related Searches

This law took effect in 1997, and since then, 43 people have taken advantage of this law and have opted for assisted suicide. Since the law took effect in late 1997, 43 people have taken advantage of Oregon's Death with Dignity law by opting for physician-assisted suicide.

Some history of Euthanasia and physician assisted suicide includes:

- The first euthanasia bill is drafted in Ohio in 1906. It is unsuccessful.
- In 1935, the World’s first euthanasia society is founded in London.
- In 1973 American Hospital Association creates a Patient Bill of Rights, which includes informed consent and the right to refuse treatment.
- 1980 World Federation of Right to Die Societies is formed in Oxford,
England. It is made up of 27 groups from 18 nations.
- In 1984 The Netherlands Supreme Court approves voluntary euthanasia under certain conditions. In present time, euthanasia is currently legal in this country.
- In 1994 The California Bar approves physician-assisted suicide. With an 85 percent majority and no active opposition, the Conference of Delegates says physicians should be allowed to prescribe medication to terminally ill, competent adults for self-administration in order to hasten death.
- In 1996 The Northern Territory of Australia passes voluntary euthanasia law. Nine months later the Federal Parliament quashes it.
- In 1996 A Michigan jury acquits Dr. Kevorkian of violating a state law banning assisted suicides.
- In 1998 Dr. Kevorkian assists the suicide of his 92nd patient in eight years. His home state, Michigan, passes new law making such actions a crime. It took effect September 1 1998, but Kevorkian carries on helping people to die -- 120 by November.
- In 1998 Oregon Health Services Commission decides that payment for
physician-assisted suicide can come from state funds under the Oregon Health Plan so that the poor will not be discriminated against.
- 1999 Dr. Kevorkian sentenced to 10-25 years imprisonment for the 2nd degree murder of Thomas Youk after showing video of death by injection on national television.
- In the year 2000, euthanasia is legalized in the Netherlands.

There are several different types of euthanasia, all of which are active in society today. They are: Passive euthanasia that is the deliberate disconnection of life support equipment, or cessation of any life-sustaining medical procedure, permitting the natural death of the patient, Active euthanasia, which is a deliberate action to end the life of a dying patient to avoid further suffering, Active voluntary euthanasia, which is a lethal injection by a doctor into a dying patient to end life by request of the sufferer and Active involuntary euthanasia, which is a lethal injection by a doctor into a dying patient without that person's express request. However, the definition of euthanasia truly has many meanings, and the result is mass confusion.

People have many reasons for wanting to end their life by committing suicide. Some are severely depressed, some, due to poverty or lack of health-care coverage cannot afford the necessary pain killing medication and suicide is their preferred solution. Many successful assisted suicide patients have had a serious, progressive illness that has affected their quality of life. These illnesses include ALS, MS, AIDS or Alzheimer’s disease.

In cases of euthanasia, it will not be the doctor who will suggest the option to the patient, and the patient must take the initiative in presenting the idea of being euthanized. Ultimately, euthanasia is a question of choice: A choice that empowers people to have control over their own bodies and mind.

In my personal opinion, euthanasia and physician assisted suicide should be legalized. I feel this way because I do not feel that suffering should be prolonged in those who do not want to have an extended life. People deserve respect and should have the ability to die when they feel is the right time and be respected and shown dignity when they choose their time. I also believe that the controversy over legalized assisted suicide or euthanasia is similar to other controversial topics in society such as same sex marriages or legal abortions. I feel that using a quote used by the late a high profile, terminally ill resident of British Columbia, Canada, who suffered from ALS [Lou Gehrig’s Disease] is an appropriate way to end this essay.

"Whose life is it, anyway?”
Return to 123HelpMe.com