Euthanasia Essay, Research Paper
The argument comes down to whether a patient has the legal right to ask their
doctor to help them die when the end of life is near and the suffering is
severe. I believe that if a person is terminally ill, and is in immense amounts
of pain, that it is their legal right, to end their life prematurely, with their
I. The different types of euthanasia
A. Passive euthanasia: acceleration of death by the removal of life support
B. Active euthanasia: a doctor directly assists in the death of a person
C. Physician Assisted Suicide: physician supplies the resources for
II. An example of euthanasia
A. Article, ?It?s Over Debbie?
III. Legalization of euthanasia
A. Euthanasia is legal in Japan, the Netherlands, and Oregon
B. Bills to make euthanasia have been denied in the United States
IV. Netherlands guidelines for euthanasia
A. It must be voluntary
B. Requests must not be made on impulse or based on depression
C. The pain must be considered unacceptable suffering
D. A second opinion must be had
E. A well documented report must be written by the doctor
V. Religious aspects of euthanasia
A. Conservative group beliefs vs. liberal group beliefs
B. What God says about euthanasia
VI. Survey of terminally ill cancer patients
A. Cancer patients are the largest group to accept euthanasia
VII. When euthanasia is used
A. Only with people who are terminally ill and who are suffering
VIII. My opinion on euthanasia
A. A person has the freedom to choose what they do with their life
B. Euthanasia is not suicide
C. It is the patients free will to decide how their life is ended
Whether to permit euthanasia is among the most argumentative legal and public
policy questions in America today. The argument comes down to whether a patient
has the legal right to ask their doctor to help them die when the end of life is
near and the suffering is severe. I believe that if a person is terminally ill,
and is in immense amounts of pain, that it is their legal right, to end their
life prematurely, with their doctor?s assistance.
The word euthanasia originated from the Greek language: ?eu means ?good?
and thanatos means ?death?? (Article, ?Euthanasia?). The meaning of
the word is ?the intentional termination of life by another at the explicit
request of the person who dies.? (Article, ?Euthanasia?). When people hear
the word euthanasia they usually think its meaning is either the termination of
life at the patient?s request, or as the Nazi extermination program of murder.
Passive euthanasia is the acceleration of death for a person by removing some
form of support and letting nature take its course. An example of passive
euthanasia is the removal of life support, (a respirator) and therefore allowing
a person to die. This procedure is performed on people with massive brain damage
who are in a coma and cannot possibly regain consciousness.
Active Euthanasia is where a person asks a doctor to directly assist them in
dying. These patients are usually terminally ill, and suffering tremendously,
and they want a quick, painless exit from life. A famous promoter of this is Dr.
Jack Kevorkian, a Michigan physician. He claims to have assisted in more than
130 suicides. His method is to inject a controlled substance into a patient,
therefore causing death.
Physician Assisted Suicide, or voluntary passive euthanasia, is where a
physician supplies the resources for committing suicide to a person, so that
they can terminate their own life. The physician will usually give a
prescription for a lethal dose of sleeping pills, or a supply of carbon monoxide
gas. Dr. Kevorkian has also used this method, he provides a f
In 1992, the Journal of the American Medical Association printed an anonymous
article entitled ?It?s Over Debbie.? The article describes how the author
administered a lethal injection to a terminally ill cancer patient, whom he had
never met. Since it was anonymous, we don?t know if it was a true story, or if
it was fabricated to open the people?s eyes to what euthanasia is.
e the first state in the United States to legalize euthanasia. Many states,
including Arizona, California, Michigan, and Rhode Island, have introduced bills
to legalize euthanasia, but so far none have passed.
The Netherlands has the most liberal euthanasia guidelines of anywhere that
it is legal. The following are the guidelines that must be followed: the patient
must make the request voluntarily and not under the pressure from others.
Requests will not be excepted if made on impulse or if based on depression. Also
the patient must be experiencing a pain that is considered unbearable. There
must also be a second opinion by another physician. And lastly a report must be
written describing the patient?s history, and why the decision was made.
A number of religious organizations have issued statements on euthanasia
declaring where they stand on the issue. Official church policies usually oppose
euthanasia. Conservative religious groups tend to be vocal in their opposition
to euthanasia. The Roman Catholic Church is strongly against the legalization
euthanasia. Liberal religious groups like, Methodists, Presbyterians, and
Quakers, tend to lean in favor of the individuals right to choose.
Conservative religious groups say that euthanasia violates a person?s
natural desire to live, and also that life is a gift from God, and only God
should be allowed to end that life. They also say that God will not give a
person anything that they cannot handle, and that suffering is a punishment for
Recently Keith G. Wilson, PhD, from The Rehabilitation Centre, Ottawa, Canada
surveyed 70 terminally ill cancer patients. 73% of the patients said that
euthanasia should be legalized because of the pain and their right to chose. 58%
said that in the near future they would, most likely, want to make a request for
an accelerated death. ?They felt more hopelessness and they had more desire to
die.? (Cancer Weekly)
Euthanasia is only to be used with people that have no hope, and no desire to
live anymore, it is both physical and mental. Euthanasia would be used for a
person who just simply wants to die with dignity before they become very sick.
The people that would fall into this group are people who have the diseases
Multiple Sclerosis, AIDS, Alzheimer?s, etc. They don?t want to prolong the
inevitable, and be in pain for an unknown time period.
I think that a person has the freedom to choose what they do with there life.
And if that person is terminally ill, and is in so much pain that they cannot
function as they did before the illness, they have the right to end their life
in a dignified manor. I am not a supporter of suicide, but I do not think that
euthanasia is a form of suicide. It is a way to die without suffering. Not just
anyone is able to die by euthanasia, there are strict guidelines that must be
followed, and only those that fit the description are allowed to follow through
with it. Again it is by the patients free will to choose this way to end their
life, and no one else?s!