Should Euthanasia or Physician Assisted Suicide Be Legal

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 Should Euthanasia or Physician Assisted Suicide be Legal?
 
  One day while interning at the Animal Clinic of Bay Ridge I witnessed something so cruel. This middle-aged shiatsu was dropped off at the animal clinic. Mind you, the owners didn’t even bother to come in the room with the dog. As I played with the dog until he would be “putdown” I wondered why in the world someone would put such a lovely dog down is unimaginable. Despite being sorry for the dog I feel euthanizing both animals and human should be legal with exceptions. For instance, if an animal or human is really sick and cannot stand the pain or is in a vegetated state I believe it is okay to euthanize. If the reason is that you don’t have enough money to nurture and take care of the animal or a human I believe it is not okay and it is inhuman to do so. If you cannot care for the animal or a human you should give it away or to a person your trust, euthanizing a human or an animal is not the way to go if you know they can be cared and loved by someone else. Michael Manning, MD stated, “The term euthanasia … originally meant only good death, but in modern society it has come to mean a death free of any anxiety or pain often brought about through the use of medication. Most recently, it has come to be known as mercy killing – deliberately putting an end to someone’s life in order to spare the individuals suffering,” in his 1998 book Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide: Killing or Caring? In addition there are three types of euthanasia Voluntary active euthanasia, non- voluntary euthanasia, and passive euthanasia. Voluntary active euthanasia is as Robert Young said “Those instances I euthanasia when a clearly competent person makes a voluntary and enduring request to die.” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy- Voluntary Euthanasia.) Non- voluntary euthanasia is when the person cannot make a decision or cannot make their wishes known. This includes cases where a person is in a coma, is too young (a baby), is senile, is mentally retarded to a severe extent, severely brain damaged or is mentally disturbed in such a way that they should be protected from themselves. The BBC website’s columns entitled Coping With Grief- Terminal Illness stated, “Passive euthanasia is an alternative name for the doctor who withholds life sustaining treatment …passive euthanasia occurs when the patient dies because the medical professionals either don’t do something to keep the patients alive ,or when they stop doing something that is keeping the patient alive. For instance switching off life support systems, disconnecting a feeding tube ,not carrying out a life saving operation ,not administering life saving medication.”

The Terri Schiavo case garners national media attention. Terri Schiavo had been brain damaged since 1990 when, aged 26, her heart stopped beating temporarily and oxygen was cut off to her brain .In 1998, her husband Michael Schiavo filed a petition to have her feeding tube removed. Seven years of legal battles ensued between Michael Schiavo and Terri’s parents , the schilinders. After a Florida circuit judge ruled that Terri’s feeding tube be removed and the Florida Supreme Court overturned “Terri’s law,” a law intended to reinsert the feeding tube, the United States supreme court refuses for the sixth time to intervene in the case. Terri schiavo dies on March 31, 2005 13 days after her feeding tube is removed.

Well the debate of euthanasia as you can see is a very controversial topic that has been going on for years. But should this “mercy killing” become legalized? I believe it should. For instance in the case of Terri Schiavo her husband wanted her euthanized but her parents didn’t. Supposedly it was caused by a cardiac arrest from a potassium imbalance associated with bulimia. Despite the fact she was seemingly brain damaged she maintained a heartbeat and blood pressure on her own. She can see despite her being vision impaired and she can move her limbs....
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