Euthanasia

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Euthanasia, also known as assisted suicide, and more loosely termed “mercy killing”. Should it be legal? Assisted suicide can lead to the dangerous policy of valuing one human life more than another. If pain is the gauge by which we decide if life is "worth living", then any human being, at any time of emotional distress, would have grounds to end his/her life. As a believer in the sanctity of life and limited government, I do not believe that any state has the right to end an innocent life, even if the person asks for death. I would not want to set the precedent that life is only valuable, as long as it is comfortable. Doctors take an oath to preserve life not to destroy it, and ending one is the equivalent under any circumstances. Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia are both illegal in most of the world, but both are legal in the Netherlands and in Colombia{Euthanasia}. In the United States, physician-assisted suicide is legal only in the state of Oregon. According to a May 2004 Gallup Poll, 53% of all Americans feel euthanasia is morally acceptable, while 41 percent believe it is wrong {Schiavo}. 

Since religion concerns itself with issues of life, death, meaning and morality, it is not surprising that, for many people, religious beliefs are the main basis for their views of euthanasia. While there are certainly many other factors that contribute to one's position on euthanasia, such as concerns about the risk of abuse, compassion, pain control, legal freedom, etc., this section will focus almost entirely on the religious aspects of the issue. Let’s look at two major religions Buddhism and Christianity The Buddha himself showed tolerance of suicide by monks in two cases {Euthanasia}. The Japanese Buddhist tradition includes many stories of suicide by monks, and suicide was used as a political weapon by Buddhist monks during the Vietnam War. But these were monks, and that makes a difference. In Buddhism, the way life ends has a profound impact on...
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