Euthanasia Essay Research Paper In the United

СОДЕРЖАНИЕ: Euthanasia Essay, Research Paper In the United States, by current individual state laws, any form of euthanasia is murder and considered a criminal offense (ACT). At this time there are still

Euthanasia Essay, Research Paper

In the United States, by current individual state laws, any form of euthanasia

is murder and considered a criminal offense (ACT). At this time there are still

no federal laws prohibiting the practice of euthanasia as a country. Euthanasia,

by definition, is the intentional killing of a person, for compassionate

motives, whether the killing is by a direct action such as a lethal injection,

or by failing to perform an action necessary to maintain life. When discussing

euthanasia there are many questions to consider before passing judgements for

either side. First we should decide ? Is there a need for euthanasia?? Next, we

must determine ? Who euthanasia is proposed for? and ? What practices are

involved?? Then, we need to view the public opinion and the current view the law

holds to completely weigh all the aspects of euthanasia to make an informed

decision of whether or not euthanasia should be legal.

The first aspect of euthanasia we must look at is ? Is there a need for

euthanasia?? Terminally ill patients are the ones who actively seek euthanasia.

Terminally ill patients are the major stakeholders in this debate (Kelliher).

Terminally ill cancer patients are the majority who support physician-assisted

suicide. Patients seek euthanasia when symptoms become too painful to endure.

Some of these patients are in such pain even under massive amounts of pain

medication they would rather terminate their life then continue to suffer until

the inescapable ending of death when their body finally gives up (Religious

Tolerance). Pain is pain and is unavoidable in terminally ill patients, who

without the choice will suffer a great deal of pain even longer.

Euthanasia, for the most part has been proposed for those who are stricken by a

terminal disease, from which they suffer severe pain (ACT). Euthanasia is a very

unique decision in which terminally ill patients would have the choice to hasten

the amount of pain in which they suffer by choosing to pass away. Though more

recently euthanasia has been being used as an alternative method for persons who

wish to die for some apparent reason such as being just plain tired of life. In

such a case the projected intentions of euthanasia would be abused (ACT).

Even though many of us are not aware of all the terms and definitions associated

with euthanasia there are two things that, regardless of education and location,

everyone questions; ?What practices are involved in the act of Euthanasia? and

?Who is responsible for these acts?? One term that is widely used in this

practice is ?Voluntary (or active) euthanasia, which by definition means the

person receiving help has specifically asked to end their life (ACT). Also the

practice of ?Involuntary Euthanasia? which by definition means the person cannot

express his or her wishes because of immaturity (such as a newborn), mental

retardation or coma (ACT). Another term which is used in this practice is

so-called passive euthanasia which tends to cause a sense of confusion because

it refers to actions which are not any kind of euthanasia (ACT). Passive

euthanasia, by definition means to hasten the death of a person by withholding

some form of support and letting nature take its course (Religious Tolerance).

Such actions include stopping food and water with intentions of the person

starving and dehydration until death occurs, removing life support equipment,

stopping medical procedures and medication. However, to avoid CPR and allow a

person, whose heart has stopped, to die would not be considerd passive

euthanasia (Religious Tolerance). When we start to think about who will be

performing such procedures we assume that a licensed doctor will be the one who

manages and actively participates in the procedure.

Currently the last two decades have seen an increase in public. From 1976 to

1993 the percentage of those who support euthanasia grew from 68.5% to 79%

(Voluntary Euthanasia Society). It need be remembered that even though the

publics? opinion counts, the voice of the terminally ill should be given more

weight. A survey was conducted of 70 terminally ill cancer patients with an

average age of 65 with a remarkable 73% believing that euthanasia and

physician-assisted suicide are acceptable practices while 21% thought neither

one was acceptable and should not be legalized (Kelliher). Overall 58% of

patients surveyed said if euthanasia were to become legal they might decide to

hasten their own death if pain became intolerable (Kelliher). As mentioned

before current law forbids euthanasia and assisted suicide. current law states

suicide is a ilegal act that is theoretically available to all (Religious


In conclusion, euthanasia is a very touchy subject in which there are many

different opinions held as to whether it should be legal or not. Though by

looking at information provided by the opinion of the public, the terminally

ill, current law and by research found in can be concluded that no person should

have to spend days, months and even years in agonizing pain, which could be

avoided, if euthanasia were legal.

Works Cited

ACT Right to Life Association. ?Euthanasia: killing the dying? Foundation for



Kelliher, Jeff. ?Terminally Ill Favor Right to End Own Lives? Health SCOUT

Reporter. 15 Sept.


Religious Tolerance. ?Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide?

Voluntary Euthanasia Society. ?Factsheets-Public Opinion?.


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