Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia - It Is Not Murder, It Is Mercy

1674 Words 7 Pages
Euthanasia: It Is Not Murder, It Is Mercy

Thesis Statement: Thousands of people in the United States alone die every year from terminal illness such as cancer, ALS and AIDS. Advanced Medical technology is responsible for keeping many of them alive - many against their wishes. In the United States, euthanasia (assisted suicide) is illegal in all but one state. Many patients are forced to suffer needlessly when there is another alternative. According to a new Time/CNN poll 7 out of 10 American's say that they want to die at home; instead three-fourths die in medical institutions" (Cloud 59). In our society people are, as a whole, living longer. With all the choices we are allowed, why is a good death not one of them?

In our society
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To many taking one's life is a direct violation of the Ten Commandments. "Thou shall not kill" - Exodus 20:13 (Nelson 132). Many religions insist that suicide is a mortal sin. In researching this paper, I have been unable to find any reference to suicide in the King James Version of the Bible. There is, however, a reference to suicide in the Catholic Bible but it views suicide as an act against the church, not God. Most Protestant religions teach that suicide is a mortal sin, it may be a rule of the church but so far as my research shows, it is not a rule of the Bible.

Who has the right to tell one that they can or cannot end their own life? The Constitution of the United States gives each and every American the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It does not, in so many words, grant us the right to die with dignity. In fact, there are many lawmakers and lobbyists who strive ardently to keep terminally ill patients alive, against their wishes. "No, the U.S. Constitution does not talk about physician assisted suicide. Neither does it talk about the right to own a video camera.... here [in this society] everything not expressly denied is assumed to be permitted - not the other way around" (Lessenbery 2).

To many, physician assisted suicide is a welcome end to terrible pain and suffering. To others it is murder, even though the patient requested it. "The main reason patients request euthanasia is the loss of dignity that may

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