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Euthanasia (the Right to Die)

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Essay title: Euthanasia (the Right to Die)

The Right To Die

Who has the right to decide weather someone should continue living or not? The person themselves, the government, or the physician. Whose life is it anyways? In today’s world, people are asking that same question about euthanasia and assisted suicide. The definition of euthanasia is the act or practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal illness or an incurable condition, as by lethal injection or the suspension of extraordinary medial treatment. Should euthanasia be a choice given to an ill person? Although “ We do have the right to die”, “ A Crime of Compassion”, in my opinion death should not be substituted for relieving pain and suffering.

The term “euthanasia” means “good health” or “well dying”; it is derived from the Greek “eu” and “thanatos”. In its classical sense, it is a descriptive term referring to an easy death as opposed to an agonizing or tormented dying. In Greek literature, euthanasia connoted a “ happy death, an ideal and coveted end to a full and pleasant life.” The concern to die well is a old as a humanity itself, for the questions surrounding death belong to the essence of being human. Dame Cicely Saunders (Founder of Hospice) states “ You matter because you are you. You matter t the last moment of you life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully but also to live until you die”

Some feel that a terminally ill patient should have a legal right to control the manner in which they die. Physicians and nurses have fought for the right to aid a patient in their death. Many families of the terminally ill have exhausted all of their funds caring for a dying patient and would prefer the option of assisted suicide to bankruptcy. While there are many strong opposing viewpoints, one of the strongest is that the terminally ill patient has the right in a humane, dignified manner. However, dignity in dying is not necessarily assured when a trusted doctor, whose professional ethics are to promote and maintain life injects a terminally ill patient with a lethal dose of morphine. Pope John Paul II states in 2004 “ A man, even if seriously sick or prevented in the exercise of its higher functions, is and will be always a man…[he] will never become a ‘vegetable’ or an ‘animal’” the Pope said “ The intrinsic value and personal dignity of every human being does not change depending o their circumstances.”

There are many arguments against euthanasia considering religious aspects. In some religions, only God can start life, so therefore, he should be the one to end it, by committing suicide, then you commit a sin. Also, while we suffer, God supports us and gives us strength, so by seeking an end to life, you are lacking trust in him. Throughout life, if you are religious, you learn that life is something to cherish, a gift from God. You also learn not to consume unnecessary drugs because they are bad for your health, but doesn’t that someone that doesn’t respect their religion practice an example of euthanasia? Even though the religious aspects are important to some, those who do not accept theology base their arguments differently. They think the only people that can control one’s life are themselves. If the quality of their life is non-existent, then they should have the right to decide to commit suicide and seek assistance if necessary. They also argue that sometimes the only way to relieve the unbearable pain caused by the illness is to die.

Another perspective on euthanasia is the ethical aspect. We have to consider what is the moral principle of the people involved. Is it ethical to help someone commit suicide? If doctors help someone with this act, then they are saying that it is pointless to try to save a life or to try to fight a disease. If the person is too ill, then their family members have to make that decision for them; if they decide to do so, then their decision to their convenience and they don’t want to be a burdened by taking care of their loved ones. Yet, some people do not think of their morals. Some people that are too ill and have no one to speak for him or her are discriminated against by their disability; they are just put in that position without any word.

The doctor should decide whether the infirmity is curable and if it is not, he/she should decide whether the patient will live productively for months or even years come. If the infirmity is not immediately fatal, will it cause pain and suffering for the rest of the patients life? How old is the patient? Will he/she live much longer any way? All these factors should come into play when deciding whether a patient should be euthanized; however, the doctor’s answers to these questions may differ from

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