An Argument for Euthanasia Essay

3119 Words Sep 6th, 2015 13 Pages
Euthanasia is a word coined from the Greek language, Eu meaning good or noble; Thanatos meaning death, in the seventeenth century by Francis Bacon to refer to an easy, painless, happy death. (Singer) Within euthanasia, there are two types. Active and passive. Active euthanasia occurs when a medical professional or another person deliberately does something to cause the death of a patient. Passive euthanasia occurs when a medical professional either stops doing something that is keeping a patient alive or they don’t do something necessary to keep a patient alive. Like switching off life support or disconnecting a feeding tube. A term that is commonly confused, but is similar to euthanasia, is physician assisted suicide. Although the results …show more content…
“A vigorous religious counterattack gained momentum as the late eighteenth century drew to a close. The various waves of religious revivalism, starting with the Great Awakening of the mid-1700s, prevented secularists and agnostics on either side of the Atlantic Ocean from generating popular support for taking one's life. These events dovetailed with the Second Great Awakening of intense evangelical fervor in the first years of the nineteenth century and strengthened the condemnation of suicide and euthanasia that stretched back to the earliest days of colonial America. The rejection of suicide and euthanasia remained firm, even after many of the new states decriminalized suicide in the wake of the Revolutionary War. The majority of Americans rejected suicide's common-law punishment...but no matter how sympathetic they were toward the suicide's family, most Americans stopped far short of condoning self-murder. As late as the antebellum period there existed in the United States a firm consensus against suicide and mercy killing” (ProCon.org.)

The first American law against euthanasia and assisted suicide was passed in New York during 1828. This further solidified society’s consensus against euthanasia. Shortly after, many states and territories followed suit. Dudley Field led a New York commission that prohibited aiding a death and furnishing a deadly weapon or

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