Euthanasia Argued with Utilitarianism

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Natalie Ynigo
Professor Daylen Elose
Ethics
28, January 2013
Library Assignment #1
Legalizing Euthanasia
“The term euthanasia originated from the Greek word for ‘good death’. It is the act or practice of ending the life of a person either by lethal injection or the suspension of medical treatment. Because of this many view euthanasia as simply bringing relief by alleviating pain and suffering” (1). I strongly agree in legalizing euthanasia in our society, and I will be applying the ethical doctrine Utilitarianism to defend my case. Euthanasia minimizes the suffering that affects those involved. Euthanasia is already legal in Holland, Luxembourg and Belgium, and permitted in Switzerland if performed by a non-doctor. In the US, the State of Washington, Montana, and Oregon have already passed laws in support of euthanasia while a recent Gallop poll finds that the vast majority of Americans continue to support "right-to-die" laws for terminally ill patients. The following benefits to legalizing euthanasia are: patients’ are saved from unwanted suffering, free up the nurses and doctors time for savable patients, vital organs can be saved, allowing doctors to save the lives of others, and health care cost would be reduced.

Certain diseases are incurable and result in a slow agonizing death. What is the purpose to suffer endlessly till the body gives out? Imagine what it would be like to spend six months, or more, vomiting, coughing, enduring pain spasms, and suffering psychologically as well. Would it not minimize suffering, for the patient and the family and friends involved, to give the patient the option to say when they had enough? Patients can die with dignity rather than have the illness reduce them to a shell of their former selves, and lessen the suffering of their family and friends. I also believe the right to die should be a fundamental freedom of each person. Nowhere in the constitution does it imply that the government has the right to keep a...
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