Euthanasia Essay

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There comes a time in one's life when vulnerability surfaces. The first time when vulnerability transpires is when a person is brought into the light of humanity, and it reoccurs during the last dying breaths of a human being. Death can contribute to many strong emotions, such as fear and even happiness, but imagine lying on a deathbed and waiting to die? What happens when a patient has an incurable disease? There are two options available. One alternative is to cope with the disease and deal with the unbearable pain, suffering and eventually death. The other option is euthanasia, where one can be at peace. Euthanasia is defined as, "the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma" (Oxford Dictionary). There are two forms of euthanasia, active and passive euthanasia. Active euthanasia is when a medical professional or a loved one such as a spouse, relative, or family member chooses to deliberately withhold basic essential needs in order to survive (Oxford Dictionary). Hence this type of euthanasia is referred to as 'killing'. On the other hand, passive euthanasia is when a patient willingly declines medical treatments and lets nature take its course. (Oxford Dictionary). Euthanasia is a highly controversial issue, and can be viewed through many world-wide tabloids and newspapers. Over recent years euthanasia has received countless supporters who wish to legalize euthanasia. Countries that have already legalized euthanasia are; the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and even some states in the United States of America (The Life). Euthanasia must be legalized in Canada because every human being has the right to live, so they should have the right to die, in addition it will diminish unnecessary suffering, it will impede innocent doctors from being persecuted by the law, and it will also economically benefit our society.

Euthanasia has been around for many centuries. It can be traced to the brilliant race of Greeks and Romans. In these times the Greeks and the Romans accomplished something that no other culture could do, they moved assisted suicide out of a dim and mystifying realm and brought it into the limelight of the public. In those times euthanasia, "was widespread support[ed] for voluntary death as opposed to prolonged agony, and physicians complied by often giving their patients the poisons they requested" (Dowbiggin). As the world progressed and became more advanced, the intolerance for euthanasia and assisted suicide also advanced (Parliament of Canada). Christianity saw this act as a direct defiance to God, hence the right to a burial was denied, and it brought immense disgrace on family members and loved ones (Parliament of Canada). St. Augustine once said that, “life and its sufferings are divinely ordained by God and must be borne accordingly” (Parliament of Canada). But as the world started to become acquainted with death and pain, the intolerance of euthanasia decreased. Some of the most important cases pertaining to euthanasia in Canada involved two women by the names of Sue Rodriguez and, Gloria Taylor. Both these women have changed how euthanasia is perceived in Canada forever.

The case of Sue Rodriguez was an extremely controversial case that was opened up in 1991 (Parliament of Canada). Sue Rodriguez was a mother in her thirties who was going to leave earth in a leisurely and painful way, because of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ASL . Rodriguez lived her life, knowing in the back of her head that one day her body would deter-ate, and one terrible day she would choke to death. This caused Sue Rodriguez to plead to the courts of Canada to allow her die a painless death, with the help of a physician. But she was refused in a close decision of 5-4 (Parliament of Canada). Eventually she committed euthanasia, with the help of an anonymous doctor, on February 12,1994 (CBC News). On June 15 2012, twenty years after the ruling of...
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