The Right To Die

736 Words 3 Pages
SHOULD THE RIGHT TO DIE BE A RIGHT?

The legality of a citizen of the United States “Right to die” has been an ongoing issue for years. The Right to die is described in many ways, only the term euthanasia will be discussed. Euthanasia, which means “good death” in the Greek language1 (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary) is the term used when one chooses to end their life due to terminal illness. Although euthanasia is morally wrong, it is protected by the 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. Should we broadly legalize euthanasia? With case after case as examples arguing the pro and cons, the question confronting the United States is one of policy. The constitutional, civil, human, and moral rights of the citizens
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As it stands today, most of the states in this nation allow the right of a competent adult to refuse life sustaining medical care2 (New Jersey vs. Quinlan, 1976); however, only four states (Montana, Oregon, Vermont and Washington) have legalized physician assisted euthanasia. As recently as August, 2014, there are no federal laws regarding euthanasia, but the act is prohibited under general homicide laws. The 14th Amendment has been used in arguments on both sides of the controversy. In Morris vs New Mexico, Jan 2014, the judge stated that the most fundamental right of our system is the right of to our freedom of choice in the matters regarding our families and integrity. He goes on to say that there is nothing more free as choosing when and how one dies.3 (2014, New Mexico Second Judicial District, Judge Nan Nash) On the other side, the House of Representative passed the Pain Relief Promotion Act of 1999; however, the act died in the Senate. US Senator (R-OK), Tom Coburn, MD stated that “nowhere in the Constitution does it declare we have the right pursue death, nowhere.”4 ([Senate Hearing 106-1005][From the U.S. Government Printing Office] S. Hrg. 106-1005, PAIN RELIEF PROMOTION ACT HEARING before the COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY, UNITED STATES SENATE,ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION on H.R. 2260 APRIL 25, 2000, …show more content…
These rights, also known as natural rights (the right to 'life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness '), gives a person autonomy to choose what they consider is in their best interest. By exercising these rights, a terminally ill person has the right to choose when and how to die. However, laws need to be in place when a physician’s assistance is requested. Once legalized, physician-assisted suicide euthanasia runs the risk of becoming routine. Over time doctors may become comfortable giving injections to end life and Americans may become comfortable having euthanasia as an option. These laws can curtail any abuses a physician indulges. These abuses may include mercy killings and termination of those that are considered inferior, such as those with

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