Critique of Barbara Huttman’s A Crime of Compassion Essay

Critique of Barbara Huttman’s “A Crime of Compassion”Barbara Huttman’s “A Crime of Compassion” has many warrants yet the thesis is not qualified. This is a story that explains the struggles of being a nurse and having to make split-second decisions, whether they are right or wrong. Barbara was a nurse who was taking care of a cancer patient named Mac. Mac had wasted away to a 60-pound skeleton (95). When he walked into the hospital, he was a macho police officer who believed he could single-handedly protect the whole city (95). His condition worsened every day until it got so bad that he had to be resuscitated two or three times a day. Barbara eventually gave into his wishes to be let go. Do you believe we should have the right to die?

In my opinion, if a person is terminally ill and there is no chance of bringing them back then they should have the right to make the choice whether they want to be kept alive or let go. What is the point of sitting in a hospital for the rest of a person’s life if they are not going to be able to do any thing? This claim is supported throughout the entire text through her believes in religion. And every night I prayed that his agonized eyes would never again plead with me to let him die (96). Barbara talked about how she wondered about a spiritual judge, and by this, it shows that religion is an important part in her life. Several times in the text, he begs to be let go so his suffering could be come to an end. Some would ask why we would not have the right to die. How enjoyable could life be when a person must be resuscitated fifty-two times in just one month?

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Anybody who reads “A Crime of Compassion” can easily find it very emotional. I believe the pathos plays a very important…

…o get a do not resuscitate order. That is an order that the families may sign so the hospital does not have to give effort to bring a person back to life anymore once they have stopped breathing.

Even though Barbara’s intentions in this paper are directly stated, her claims she gives does not back her argument at all. After reading her major claim, which states that we do not have the right to die (97), I feel the complete opposite of what she thinks and I believe a person should have the right to die if there is no chance of them getting better in the future. The author’s grounds explained all of the struggles of keeping a very sick man alive, which I believe gave me some very good evidence to write my counter argument.

Works Cited

Huttman, Barbara. “A Crime of Compassion.” The Genre of Argument Ed. Irene Clark. Boston, MA: Christopher Klein, 1998.


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