Doctor-Assisted Suicide Should be Legalized Essay

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“Dogs do not have many advantages over people, but one of them is extremely important: euthanasia is not forbidden by law in their case; animals have the right to a merciful death.”
― Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

One of the most controversial topics that is being debated today, both morally and legally, is assisted suicide, sometimes known as active euthanasia. Assisted suicide is the act of directly intervening in order to end the life of a terminally ill patient (i.e. administering a large amount of sleeping pills). The word "euthanasia", comes from Latin "eu" for "good" and "thanatos" for "death" (OCRT 1). Many people in this country are existing in a "living death", suffering on a day to day basis. The
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They believe that assisted suicide crosses the moral border into government-condoned killing. The Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religions all seem to strictly discourage assisted suicide, as well as all types of suicide. They stress that life is God's alone to give, and God's alone to take (Van Biema 61). Traditional Christian beliefs against suicide were first affirmed by Thomas Aquinas, a writer in the early thirteenth century. He emphasized that suicide (and assisted suicide) violates one's natural desire to live, harms other people, and that life is God's gift to give and take (OCRT 2). Not all religions are against suicide, either. Hinduism promotes the taking of one's own life instead of living with dishonor (Flanders 49).

Whatever a religion may offer as it's belief about suicide, the followers of that religion do not always uphold that belief. At Masada, for example, a sect of fervently religious Jews known as Zealots held off Roman invaders for two years. When it became apparent that defeat was inevitable, their leader convinced the remaining nine hundred and sixty of them to commit suicide (Flanders 5). And Michel de Montaigne, a Christian writer living in France in the mid sixteenth century wrote five essays arguing that suicide is a matter of personal choice, and it is a viable option under some circumstances (OCRT 1).

The American support of active euthanasia has been seen in national organizations
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