Euthanasia Essay - Assisted Suicide Must be an Option
Life is a precious gift. Humans have the ability to decide how their lives are to be lived. In the United States, people can legally control to a limited extent their death. In a living will, a person can request that extraordinary life sustaining measures be withheld in terminal medical condition. However, the abrupt ending of a life via assisted suicide is controversial. Should people be allowed to take their own lives when facing a painful and prolonged ending? I believe that they should have that option.
Euthanasia, or mercy killing, can be defined as the "intentional termination of life by another at the explicit request of the person who dies" (Euthanasia). …show more content…
Some agree that assisted suicide is immoral, and people should die at their own natural times. However, many activities that people engage in hasten an early death. Smoking, over eating, alcoholism, and illegal drug use will not generally bring about immediate death, but the cumulative effects over time will shorten a person's life span.
Death is inevitable. How death is understood and managed is intertwined with religious beliefs. In the Judeo-Christian teachings, suicide is a sin because the person is acting like God in taking a life. As many of the laws in the United States are based on Judeo-Christian beliefs, assisted suicide is illegal in this country. This law comes into conflict in situations where a terminally ill person is suffering a prolonged physical and emotional pain. Frequently the health care system attempts to prolong life with chemotherapy and other treatment modalities, which in themselves, are uncomfortable at best and sometimes dehumanizing. Out of guilt or family pressure, people will allow their relatives to undergo treatments and procedures that they would not allow to be done on their aging pets out of compassion for the animal. Should not a human have as much or more dignity that an animal?
A sad example from my