Position Essay Euthanasia

Topics: Euthanasia, Death, Medical ethics Pages: 4 (1280 words) Published: September 28, 2008
The Good Death
Euthanasia has been a hotly debated social question for many years. For many reasons people ask for assistance to end their lives. It is legal in most states for a person to end their own life, but if someone helps someone carry out that wish, then that is a crime. It shouldn’t be illegal to help someone end their life if they wish to die to end their pain. The only sensible thing would be to legalize physician assisted suicide so that people can feel comfortable and pass away in a controlled environment. Assisted suicide is becoming more acceptable in American culture. Euthanasia has been a medical, moral, and even religious issue over the years and is slowly moving towards legalization.

Euthanasia means the good death that stems from the Greek word eu meaning “good” and thanatos meaning “death” (Robinson). There are three different types of euthanasia. First there is passive euthanasia. This is when life support systems are removed, medical procedures are stopped, and a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order is issued. This form of euthanasia still allows nature to take its course. The next form is involuntary euthanasia, which is when the patient does not have any say in their death. Usually this means a patient in a persistent vegetative state who will most likely never recover consciousness. The last form is active euthanasia which is also known as physician assisted suicide. This is the controversial form that people do not agree on, but all the other forms of euthanasia are currently legal and used presently here in the United States. This is when a patient asks for help to end their lives and a doctor either supplies them with information or the means to commit suicide. Euthanasia is not just for anyone who is unhappy and wants to die. Physicians will only consider helping patients who are terminally ill, has intractable pain or loss of capabilities, in a competent state of mind, and keeps asking for someone to help them...
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