Do People Have the Right to Die? Essay

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A disabled man shares his personal experience with euthanasia: As a quadriplegic who has been paralyzed from the chest down for over 24 years, I want to address the dangerous potential ramifications of legalizing physician assisted suicide (PAS) from a viewpoint of personal experience. The past danger I am referring to concerns the time when I was first paralyzed. My paralysis is the result of a broken neck and spinal cord injury from a car accident in 1975. Add to this cheery scenario the fact that I was soon greeted by a doctor who told me I was not supposed to have lived as long as I had, would most likely die shortly, or, in the best case would spend the remainder of my life confined to a wheelchair and you know I was not in the…show more content…
To put it simply, my life has been, and continues to be, full and productive. My past concern is simple. What would I have done if PAS had been an option when I was first injured or during any of the critical complications I've been through since. In retrospect, there were many times when I don't know. I can't begin to express the roller coaster of emotional ups and downs I went through. Now, I'm incredibly grateful that PAS wasn't an option (How Physician Assisted Suicide Could Affect People). If this disabled man was a resident in Oregon, he would have had the option of voluntary euthanasia. In the most excruciating and painful moments, he may have been compelled to request to die. Luckily, the policies of the legal system he lived within did not permit euthanasia and he proceeded to live a dignified life. The state of Oregon is the only state in the United States that allows voluntary euthanasia to occur legally. On January 1st, 2004, Oregon will be entering its sixth year under the Death with Dignity Act. The Death and Dignity Act legalizes voluntary euthanasia. It is imperative to understand the particular definitions of euthanasia to comprehend the public policy controversy. The International Task Force of Euthanasia defines euthanasia as "the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit. (The key word here is ‘intentional'. If death is not intended, it is not an act
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