The Controversy of Euthanasia
One of the biggest and most controversial topics throughout society today is the act of euthanasia in humans. In the medical field, euthanasia is commonly known as assisted suicide that is essentially for terminally ill patients only. When thinking about euthanasia, Americans tend to relate it towards the rights for animals, but in this specific example I will focus on the controversial topic of legalization on behalf of people who are professionally diagnosed with a life-threatening diseases. This will not include minorities under the age of eighteen or the elderly over the age of sixty. Thus when looking at the data in today’s society, euthanasia is clearly defined as taking action of ending a person’s life to relieve persistent and relentless pain. As of today, the majority of our nations population believes that euthanasia is immoral. Although euthanasia is illegal in the United States currently, some citizens argue in defense of dying peaceful with dignity rather then suffer in a hospital bed for months on end. After several decades of consideration, euthanasia is extremely difficult task to break down due to both disagreements within the choice for and against this practice.
For instance, the term ‘euthanasia’ comes from the Greek words eu meaning god, and thanatos meaning death (Manning 2). Euthanasia can also be referred to as ‘mercy killing’ or the practice of assisting someone the aid of death whether it may be legal or illegal, depending on a country's jurisdiction. In other countries it is legal, like Belgium, Norway, Sweden, and Albania. Most of the United Kingdom, since 2009, declared legalization in all hospitals for medical euthanasia under the condition that a patient is suffering from chronic pain along with an incurable disease (Mattlin). The specific classification of euthanasia within legal jurisdiction becomes more complex when looking at what is considered fair and what is unjust. During the 1300s suicide or helping an individual commit suicide was considered as a criminal act. The idea of ‘mercy killing’ was not supported by the superiority of rising Christianity. In the United States of America, the first law against assisted killing, known as ‘anti-euthanasia’ was passed in 1828, New York. Euthanasia, like induced abortion, had been a major subject for deliberation since then. Within several decades euthanasia was divided into two main subgenres known as active-voluntary and passive-voluntary euthanasia (Manning 3). Voluntary is a medical classification of dying with consent from a patient within a reasonable amount of time before the termination process. Involuntary euthanasia is rarely seen today and is very uncommon due to new technologic advances in security and medical forensic sciences. In voluntary euthanasia, can although be simply defined as dying without consent (Nitschke). Under the English influence during the 15th century, active and passive euthanasia was categorized underneath voluntary medical practices. This is demonstrated in the process of the patient’s death. For example, active euthanasia is to end a person's life by use of drugs, whether by oneself or with the aid of a physician, when passive euthanasia is taking a persons life by not taking helping the patient survive during a ‘DNR’ circumstance, medically known as ‘do not resuscitate’ when need. Also passive termination can include withdrawing water, food, drugs, medical or surgical procedures needed in order to maintain life while sick (Manning 3).
Voluntary euthanasia is so controversial when it comes to the active practices because in the United States, residents have a legal right to freedom of speech and self-opinion. When opinions collide, we cannot simply justify both parties on equal terms under the federal laws of the U.S Constitution. In Washington, Montana and Oregon, it is legal for active euthanasia to occur if a medical practice agrees with their sick client. Since...
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