Should the Right to Die Be Considered a Right?

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“Euthanasia is a unique practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal disease/illness or an incurable condition by means of the suspension of extraordinary medical treatment or lethal injection” (Euthanasia: Define Euthanasia at Dictionary.com.). Many Roman doctors used euthanasia in 5th century B.C., but the most infamous of the twentieth century was Dr. Jack Kevorkian. He participated in his first assisted suicide on June 4, 1990 (Patashnik). Dr. Kevorkian is known all over the world for his famous and fearless acts in assisted suicide, or euthanasia. Euthanasia should be legalized for three reasons: pain relief, letting people make their own decisions about death, and people should not be forced to stay alive if their lives are impossible and do not bring happiness.

Debate continues over the issue of euthanasia long after the court decision of a guilty plea to the cases concerning Dr. Kevorkian and assisted suicide. Kevorkian plead guilty to second degree murder in his assisted suicide cases and was sentenced to 10-25 years in prison, with a possibility of parole in six years (Humphry). Euthanasia does take place and is selected voluntarily by patients who are in great pain due to an incurable illness like cancer (Patashnik). Usually, the decision is made to pull the plugs of machines which prolong life or to end treatment. Physician assisted euthanasia cannot be considered murder because patients select to die, their deaths end suffering, and there is no intention to cause harm. Murder can be defined as an act of violence which is perpetrated against a victim (Dictionary.com). The individual dies at a time which is forced by the killer who has intent to harm the person. Frequently murder is painful and the person who is dying has not voluntarily decided to participate in the death (Patashnik). By its nature, murder is death by violence at a time of the killer's rather than nature's choosing. Unlike murder, euthanasia is not an...
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