Essay The Personal Decision of Euthanasia

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The Personal Decision of Euthanasia

Every year two million people die in North America. Chronic illnesses, such as cancer or heart disease, account for two of every three deaths. Approximately seventy percent of those suffering from a chronic illness make a decision to forgo life-sustaining treatment (Choice in Dying). The ongoing debate concerning this issue remains whether patients should have the opportunity to implement euthanasia.
Euthanasia originated from the Greek work meaning "good death." It is the intentional termination of life by another at the explicit request of the person who dies (Religious Tolerance). Euthanasia became a world renowned movement launched by a celebrated 1973 case of a doctor who helped her
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Ultimately, euthanasia is a question of choice, empowering people to have control over their own bodies. But the choice is only to be given to an elite group of terminally ill patients. Advocates of voluntary euthanasia contend that a person should be allowed or assisted in their death, if a person is:
 Suffering from a terminal illness
 Unlikely to benefit from the discovery of a cure
 Suffering from intolerable pain as a result of the illness
 Has an enduring and rational wish to die
 Unable to commit suicide without assistance
(Overberg) Modern technological advances, such as respirators and kidney machines, have made it possible to sustain a patient's life for long periods of time. Proponents of euthanasia agree that prolonging life in this manner may cause great suffering to the patient and their family. As a result, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 1985 completed the Uniform Rights of the Terminally Ill Act. This act entitles patients the choice to refuse life support (Baird 167-171). It is a subtle form of euthanasia. The pro euthanasia movement has received considerable encouragement by the passing of laws in 47 states that allow legally competent individuals to make living wills. These living wills empower and instruct doctors to withhold life support. This is another subtle form of euthanasia (Baird 142-145). In America, where life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are some of our…

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