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Euthanasia Is Not for Everyone

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Essay title: Euthanasia Is Not for Everyone


Years ago, talking about death was a social taboo. Although, some civilizations have not open their minds that much, each day more people have opened their minds to a new way of looking at death. People have realized that as humans, they are not here to suffer; instead, they are here to enjoy life. Euthanasia is a word that in the past years has appeared on the media. Cases appeared each day, and people are not still reacting to it in a good way, probably because they do not know what it is really implied on it. People think of it as only a way of killing people, not in the way of helping patients with a better departure. People think that euthanasia has been accepted, by few, as the first and only option that ill patients have to. But instead, it is the last option, the last door to open and give patients a peaceful passing. Opposite sides conceive of euthanasia as a lower and non ethical way to help patients. Also they claim the fact that sometimes euthanasia has been practiced without the consent of patients, but at the will of doctors and families. Euthanasia is a very complex issue, and it can not be looked at as the answer for every single patient. Otherwise, it has to be thought of as a very rare and non usual way of helping people. Euthanasia is there to let people know that they have an open option to rely on in any moment, without thinking of any legal consequence, obviously with the appropriate precautions that corresponds.

Euthanasia is known as mercy killing. What euthanasia simply gives is a better ending to those patients who seem to not have any deserving end. There are various ways of practicing it, and many definitions around it have born. A pro-euthanasia group defines assisted suicide as when someone “provides the means (drugs or other agents) by which a person can take his or her own life” (ERGO). There also exists what is called as physician-assisted suicide, in which a doctor prescribes lethal drugs in order to help the patient commit suicide.

One of the most famous cases in the world concerning physician assisted suicide is the one of Dr Jack Kevorkian. Dr Kevorkian, who currently is 70 years old, has been convicted for 7 years for helping in almost 130 cases on assisted suicide. Dr Kevorkian has shelter in compassion. It means his only defense is that he was just helping all his patients that his intention was never to intentionally kill them. On contrast, he was just giving them some peace. Around the world, this case has become one of the most important. Although Dr Kevorkian is already in prison, thousands of people support and understand him. On the other side, a new case has born. As a known newspaper from Los Angeles explains, “Attorney General John Ashcroft asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to give federal agents the authority to punish Oregon doctors who help dying patients end their lives”(Los Angeles Times). Lately, this case has grown, showing that most of the people disapproved the idea of euthanasia.

But probably, all the problems are just the lack of information. Through the past years, different groups have started, and have tried to show what the real intention of euthanasia is. On the other hand, as everything, there also exists opposing groups that show the bitter and ugly face of euthanasia. One of the most powerful and trusting groups supporting euthanasia is the Hemlock Society. Their mission is “to improve pain and symptom management, increase patient empowerment and self-determination and expand end-of-life choices to include aid-in-dying for terminally ill, mentally competent adults” (The hemlock society). This group has gained popularity with its numerous appearances in different protests and passing of legislation through out the United States. They not only fight for helping the dying patients, they also provide families psychological and professional help. In contrast, there is another leading opposing group known as “Not Dead Yet”. This group is mostly concerned with disabled people. They try to protect and respect people with disabilities by all means. This group started in 1996, right after one of Dr Kevorkian famous cases, where two disabled women were involved. The group explains euthanasia as “though often described as compassionate, legalized medical killing is really about a deadly double standard for people with severe disabilities, including both conditions that are labeled terminal and those that are not” (Not dead yet).

United States is not the only country with euthanasia cases. Throughout the world few countries have joined to the fight whether against or for euthanasia. “In Europe three countries have openly legalized assisted suicide, Switzerland, Belgium, and Netherlands” (ERGO). They have many restrictions in the use of it, like more than one doctor present during the procedures and some restrictions with the

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