Arguments Over Euthanasia

1059 Words Jan 14th, 2018 4 Pages
Even in the 1930s there were organizations that aided in awareness and legalization of voluntary and assisted suicide (the Hemlock Society, the Voluntary Euthanasia Society). The issue became media frenzy in the late 1990s with the efforts of Dr. Jack Kevorkian and others and continues to be contentious (Fridstein, 10).
Euthanasia is a medical/legal term that focuses on purposefully ending a life in order to alleviate suffering, pain, or discomfort. Passive euthanasia is intentionally withholding treatment or medicine; and active euthanasia is assisting the death of another. Both are extremely controversial, and focus on a number of ethical and philosophical topics: quality of life, a person's right to choose their death (e.g. knowing they will become debilitated), and what constitutes a painless or "happy death". Legally, if a person or their designated surrogate does not have authority about their own life, who does? Perhaps it is the case of personal responsibility and quality of life that is the crux of a need for reexamination? (Callahan, 4).
The idea of euthanasia often uses incurable pain as a reason for ending life. However, pain is a relative term. For example, in some cases, pain is not the focus, but quality of life and the ability to be thinking and active human being is…
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