Should Euthanasia Be Legal?

Topics: Euthanasia, Homicide, Death Pages: 4 (1366 words) Published: August 28, 2013
Should Euthanasia Be Legal?
Katarina Mijic-Barisic
Honors Bio 7th Period

Should Euthanasia Be Legal
Euthanasia, also known as mercy killing, is doctor-assisted suicide, usually as a result of fatal illnesses and diseases that cannot be cured. Medilexicon's dictionary states it is “The intentional putting to death of a person with an incurable or painful disease intended as an act of mercy” (What is Euthanasia, 2010). In many countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, euthanasia is an illegal practice. However, in some countries like Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and Switzerland, assisted suicide is very much accepted. The two basic classifications are voluntary and involuntary euthanasia. Voluntary euthanasia is assisted suicide with consent of the patient. This form has been legal since 2009 in Belgium, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, and Switzerland. Involuntary euthanasia is when the decision is made by another person because the patient is incapable to doing so themselves. This form is very rarely legal anywhere. Further classification includes passive and active euthanasia. Passive euthanasia is when life-sustaining treatments are withheld. This classification is based mostly off the doctor’s intent, if they meant or did not mean to kill the patient. Active euthanasia is when lethal substances are used to end a patient’s life. Assisted suicide is a very controversial topic, where people are forced to evaluate their religious, moral, and ethical values. One may argue that, everyone in life should be allowed to make their own choices. If someone wants to end their life, they should be allowed. If a patient is not well enough to do it themselves, they may ask a doctor to do it for them. This is where the term assisted suicide comes from. However, in my opinion, it should NOT be called assisted suicide. What euthanasia should really be known as is murder. If we were to examine the definition of first degree murder, Washington State...

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