Essays Euthanasia Unethical

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Euthanasia: Unethical And Immoral Essay

Despite one’s medical condition, euthanasia should not be an end of life choice. But what is euthanasia or doctor-assisted suicide? Euthanasia is defined as "the bringing about of a gentle and easy death for a person suffering from a painful incurable disease," while Suicide on the other hand, is "the intentional killing of oneself." Doctor-assisted suicide combines both of these definitions with the idea of a physician helping a terminally ill patient to die. Doctors can perform euthanasia by giving a patient a lethal injection or by prescribing a lethal dose of drugs (“Euthanasia”). Active euthanasia is actually taking proactive measures to help a person die. Opposite active euthanasia which is defined as "allowing to die," and is used to describe a decision to withhold treatment, remove life support, etc. from a patient who may be in a coma or vegetative state (Issues and Controversies).
The United States has long outlawed assisted suicide. People who help others kill themselves have been charged with murder, manslaughter, etc. For many years, right-to-die groups have attempted to change the laws saying that euthanasia is compassionate. Compassion, when literally defined, means: “to suffer with another”. That is why the monopolization of the word by proponents of euthanasia and assisted suicide is so discordant. Euthanasia isn’t about suffering with anybody. It’s is about using someone’s suffering - and the pity it evokes - as a justification to kill (Miller et al. [40-41]).
Advocates of right-to-die were unsuccessful until 1994 when Oregon voters approved the Death with Dignity Act allowing physician-assisted suicide. The Act was blocked for three years by critics and those who opposed the Act. These people challenged the constitutionality in the United States Supreme Court, but the Act was enacted in 1997. Oregon had been the only state in the United States to allow assisted suicide (Ellis). Since Oregon enacted the Act, more than one hundred people have died with the assistance of doctors (Meyer).
However, in 2009 the state of Washington will put into effect Initiative 1000. Initiative 1000 allows terminally ill patients who have less than six months to live to ask their doctors for a life-ending prescription. For those requesting fatal medication, the patient must be eighteen years or older, declared competent and must be a state resident. Two doctors must certify that the patient has a terminal condition with six months or less to live. Witnesses must affirm that the patient wishes to die and a psychologist must deem the patient competent. After a mandatory three requests, a fifteen day waiting period begins after the first request. It is up to the individual doctors to write or fill lethal prescriptions and to participate (Ellis).
There are other places besides Oregon and Washington that have openly and legally authorized assisted suicide, one such place is the Netherlands. The Netherlands has allowed euthanasia for more than 30...

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