Emperor Penguins

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Emi Kozaki
SOCY100
Section B
Feb. 5, 2013
The Right to Die
On August 4, 1993, a man by the name of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a retired pathologist, helped a 30 year old man with a disease commit suicide. Kevorkian has assisted in numerous suicides since then; the 30 year old man was the 17th person to commit suicide with Kevorkian. It wasn’t until he did it on television in 1998 that he got charged with second degree murder. He completed his sentence in 2007 and then died of circulatory problems in 2011 (Schaefer, 300).

Physician-assisted suicide has been and still is one of the biggest issues in the United States and other countries. Euthanasia is known as “act of bringing about the death of a hopelessly ill and suffering person in a relatively quick and painless way for reasons of mercy.” The debate over euthanasia and assisted suicide focuses more on cases with older people, although it can involve younger adults with terminal diseases, or even children. Surveys have shown public opinions about this controversial practice, 71% of respondents say that a physician should be legally allowed to end a patient’s life if both the patient and relatives make such request. Although formal norms against euthanasia are still strict, according to an estimate by the American Hospital Association, 70 percent of all deaths in the United States were quietly negotiated with the patients, family members, and physicians agreeing not to use life-support (Schaefer, 301).

There are articles where it has mentioned how people fight to get their “right to die”. For instance, Tony Nicklinson, a man who had a stroke in 2005 which left him with 'locked-in syndrome' – mentally sound but paralyzed from the neck down and unable to speak, was physically unable to commit suicide, and took his 'right-to-die' case to the High Court. At the High Court in London, he described his existence as 'dull, miserable, demeaning, undignified and intolerable' as he began his landmark case that...
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