Euthanasia Essay, Research Paper
By: David Midlo
eu?tha?na?sia (y th -n zh , -zh – ) n. 1. To give aid, or to help someone in ending their life. 2. Murder.
I support no definition of euthanasia. The two definitions given, are, in fact redundant. The first definition is murder, the taking of life. Euthanasia is murder, but murder is a broad category, containing (as far as I can see) two other parts: Homicide and Suicide, homicide is the killing of one person by another. Suicide is the act of intentionally killing of oneself. To define euthanasia into one of these two sub-categories, you first have to decide if the killing is assisted, if so, then it is homicide, if not then it would be suicide.
These are four examples of euthanasia:
1.To withdraw from life support when a person has been declared ?brain dead?
2.To withhold food and water from a person that is breathing with out support, but has been declared ?brain dead?
3.To aid someone in their death that has a painful and terminal condition.
4.To aid someone in their death who has a chronic condition.
These four all being examples of murder, the first two are that of homicide (unless laid out in a living will1), that later that of suicide, even though there is assistance, it is helping someone take their own life.
A case in point of examples three and four is Jack Kevorkian (Dr. Death). He assisted people in there suicide, at first he used the same technique that the U.S. judicial system uses to carry out lethal injections. The state medical review board took away his right to practice medicine. Undaunted, Kevorkian continued helping people in their deaths, but he then began to use a less effective method, carbon-monoxide poisoning, on the whole, he helped approximately 100 people in their deaths (93 of cases were recorded in newspapers, however, according to Kevorkian’s lawyer Geoffrey Fieger, and his late assistant, Janet Good, there have been many other assisted deaths which have been kept private.)
An opposing case would be that of the Attorney General, John Ashcroft. He issued a ruling on Tuesday, November 6, 2001 that rendered Oregon?s physician-assisted suicide law quiescent. This law was voted in by the populous of Oregon in 1994, said that it was legal to aid someone in their death who has a painful and terminal condition. I don?t believe that it is right for one man to overturn the decision of the people of Oregon, that isn?t democracy.
Euthanasia is murder, but there are some circumstances where murder is acceptable, two of those being, if a person is ?brain dead? breathing or not, as well as if a person wants to die, whether it be a terminal or chronic illness. I have discussed this topic with my family at length, generally they have agreed with me, except for the termination of life for examples three and four, and the reason is that of faith. ?God takes those when he chooses, not when they choose.?
1A living will is a document in which the signer requests not to be kept alive by medical life-support systems in the event of a terminal illness (only used in people over the age of 18).