INFORMATIVE SPEECH TRANSCRIPT
Western Michigan University
Imagine you are unable to get out of bed, to eat, unassisted. Needing another to clothe and bathe you day in and day out. Is that living? When it’s your time to go, would that be dying with dignity? Let’s say you have a chronic illness and you are in extreme physical pain. Wouldn’t you want the right to ask your doctor to end your suffering? Or is that treading too far? Welcome to the debate of euthanasia.
Today I will discuss the history and argumentation of assisted suicide.
Assisted suicide, also known as euthanasia, is a hot-button issue that was brought into the light by Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Dr. Kevorkian was a controversial activist who tried to legalize assisted suicide under the argument that everyone deserves a humane death. There had been much debate on the issue, and our legislatures have explored what the practice entails and the moral implications of assisted suicide. However, it is still illegal in all of the United States. But Physician Aid in Dying or PAD is legal in Washington, Oregon, and Montana. The difference is that euthanasia involves a third party to administer the dose, whereas PAD leaves it up to the patient to take it. In this presentation I will focus solely on euthanasia, including the role of Dr. Kevorkian and the moral implications of legalizing assisted suicide. The concept of choosing a time to die with the help of a physician was first medically explored by Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Born in Royal Oak, Michigan, he attended the University of Michigan. There, he saw patients suffering. Especially in cases where there was no cure available, he wanted to end their suffering in a humane way. In his own words Dr. Kevorkian stated, “I’m going to do it right.” That was published in the New York Times in 2007. According to a 2011 New York Times article, in 1990 Kevorkian helped 130 people die using his machine titled the Thanatron, which is Greek for...
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