AP Language and Composition
March 12, 2013
Noseless, fingerless, handless, vision less, and jawless, Matthew Donnelly pled for death. Matthew spent his last thirty years conducting research of x-rays and as a result aquired skin cancer. This skin cancer caused him to lose his nose, his left hand, two fingers on his right hand, part of his jaw and his vision. During this crucial stage of cancer, Matthew was given less than a year to live and suffered extreme pain both physically and emotionally. As his longing to live decreased his desire to rest eternally increased. As Matthew's plead to die grew stonger, he was finally shot by his brother, Harold Donnelly, with a .30 caliber pistol. Matthew's death demonstrates all that the world could avoid if euthanasia was legal; violation of one's civil liberties. Euthanasia, or as many like to call it, assisted suicide, should be legalized. Euthanasia is the taking of one's own life, purposely, with the assitance of another person and is derived from the Greek words Eu Thanatos. In ancient Greece and Rome, Euthanasia was practiced often but as the importance of religion increased the practice of Euthanasia diminished. (SOURCE HERE (mcdougall & martha gorman). Though there are different distinctions of Euthanasia such as passive and active Euthanasia, the results are all the same; the end of suffering and the beginning of eternal rest. Passive Euthanasia involves less extreme measures, such as removing a patient from life support. Active Euthanasia causes death in a more direct manner, for example, providing an overdose of medication (Mcdougall). Oregon's Death with Dignity Act was introduced in the Legislative Assembly to allow physicians to provide terminally ill patients with medication to end their life. Under the qualification of two witnesses and the clearance of any mental conditions, terminally ill patients in Oregon can choose to die rather than suffer. When the word Euthanasia is used, many unconsciously associate it with the low and behold Adolf Hitler. Hence, the poll that was made after World War II that illustrated that the support for Euthanasia was lower after the war than it was before the war (ENTER SOURCE). Adolf Hitler's “Euthanasia Programme” included the murder of many people who were in asylums for the mere purpose of perserving food for Germans during this wartime. This form of Euthanasia,however, has been long gone. Euthanasia now is done for the pure and simple reason of ending suffering and preserving deserved rest for terminally ill patients. First, Euthanasia should be legalized to deliver patients relief and rest from the pain experienced by the terminal illnesses. Often times nurses are faced with patients who are terminally ill and desire an end to suffering. Assisted Suicide is an eternal pain killer for all terminal patients who are free from mental problems. In Vacco v. Quill the American Civil Liberties stated that “The right of a competent, terminally ill person to avoid excruciating pain and embrace a timely and dignified death bears the sanction of history and is implicit in the concept of ordered liberty” (ACLU). If a patient is experiencing tremendous pain and anguish, it is their right and perogative to free themselfs from this misery. Diane Pretty is a 43 year old women who suffers from motor neurone disease (Sarah Barclay). It is nearly impossible for Pretty to speak, eat, or even breathe. A simple sentence requires 20 minutes of assitance from her various machines and aids, to communicate a simple “I love you” to her husband or to swallow a small amount of saliva requires a tremendous amount of pain and time. Diane addresses herself as practically dead and her mother agrees. The legalization of Euthanasia in United Kingdom would have allowed Diane to be placed out of her own misery and into the land of paradise and rest. Her husband Brian has contemplated risking his...