Essay on Legalizing Physician Assisted Suicide And Active Euthanasia

816 Words Nov 19th, 2015 4 Pages
The civil argument in the U.S. over whether or not to authorize physician-assisted suicide and active euthanasia has reached new levels of vehemence. Oregon, California, Vermont, and Washington (and Montana, via court ruling) have become the first states to legalize physician-assisted suicide. There has, too, been campaigns, ballot measures, bills, and litigation in other states in attempts to legalize one or both practices. Supporters increasingly urge either absolute legalization or some other form of legitimation, through claims of “mercy killing” when compared to a homicide. As stated by representatives of the Ethics and Human Rights Committee, “Many people fear a painful and protracted death or desire more control over the dying process” (209).
We want control of how we die as much as we need control of our life. In the movie “How to Die in Oregon,” we see many people talking about this issue and even some going through with it. A man named Roger Sagner from the movie can be quoted saying, “I thank the wisdom of the voters of the state of the Oregon for allowing me the honor of doing myself in on my own volition to solve my own problems.” Yet the debate over whether or not to legalize physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia (by which I mean active euthanasia, as opposed to the termination of life-sustaining treatment) is most often about a patient who does not exist – a patient with no gender, race, or insurance status. Little discussion has focused on how…

Related Documents