Essay about Making the Case for Right to Die

The right to life that has been stated in the Declaration of Independence brings up controversial debates about the morality of war, self-defense, capital punishment, abortion and euthanasia. Euthanasia is the ending of a life to escape suffering and pain. Although many believe that assisted suicide, also known as physician-assisted death is morally wrong, I think that under certain, strict circumstances, people should have the choice whether or not they want to suffer towards the end of their lives. A person should have the rights to their own life and should have the option to end their pain in a more peaceful manner. So the real question that should be asked is- Is it wrong to let them die or is it wrong to let them suffer?

There are many different names for this practice- Death with Dignity, mercy killing, the right to die, assisted suicide, physician-assisted death and Euthanasia. Euthanasia comes from the Greek word “euthanatos” meaning “easy death”. It is the act of killing a person who suffers from an irreversible coma or painful and incurable disease. This is illegal in most countries. There are a few different types of euthanasia- active and passive, voluntary and involuntary, indirect euthanasia and assisted suicide. Both voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide occurs when a person is mentally stable and has made the decision for themselves to end their life. Passive euthanasia is when a patient refuses to take a medication and knows that it will eventually lead to death. It is considered involuntary euthanasia is when a person is in a coma, unconscious or unable to make the decision for themselves so an appropriate person makes it for them. Some say that passive and involuntary euthanasia isn’t as morally wrong but…

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… Is No Justification for Legalizing Euthanasia.” Assisted Suicide. Ed. Noel Merino. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Current Controversies. Rpt. from “Euthanasia: Can It Ever Be Right to Legalise It?” Catholic Insight 17.2 (Feb. 2009): 8-9. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 23 Feb. 2014

Marker, Rita. “Right-to-Die Laws Do Present a Slippery Slope.” The Right to Die. Ed. John Woodward. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2006. At Issue. Rpt. from “Oregon’s Suicidal Approach to Healthcare.” American Thinker. 2009. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 27 Feb. 2014

Smith, Michael. “There Is No Evidence of a Slippery Slope with Right-to-Die Laws.” The Right to Die. Ed. John Woodward. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2006. At Issue. Rpt. from “No ‘Slippery Slope’ Found with Physician Assisted Suicide.” MedPage Today. 2009. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 27 Feb. 2014


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