Essay on Euthanasia: We All Have the Right to Die

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Physician-Assisted Suicide, or Euthanasia, is a serious issue, and it affects people throughout all walks of life. From teenagers with angst, to older adults feeling hopeless in their life, to the elderly suffering from terminal illnesses, suicide pervades throughout their thought processes as an alternative to their emotionally and physically pervasive situations. Euthanasia, or physician-assisted suicide, has a history dating back to the seventeenth century. Only recently has it become as controversial an issue as it has. Why is euthanasia such a touchy, beat around the bush kind of term? Like abortion, euthanasia’s arguments center on right vs. wrong in the social spectrum. In “Euthanasia Reconsidered — The Choice of Death as an…show more content…
As we see in the 2006 case Gonzalez v. Oregon, the Supreme Court supported the interests of physicians on a euthanasia-related case. In 1994, Oregon enacted the “Death With Dignity Act” which allowed physicians to prescribe lethal doses of medicine to terminally ill patients. This act was questioned in early 2001 and brought to court by former attorney general Ashcroft, which precipitated the Gonzalez v. Oregon debate. Ultimately, the Supreme Court decided by a 6-3 margin that physician assisted suicide is an important option for terminally ill patients (Sclar 639). We need to consider the choices of the individuals in these situations. If we are willing to accept the idea that our bodies are our own property and we can do what we want with them, then if we choose to die that should be our right. A patient who would rather die than continue to live in an incapacitated or potentially painful state – someone whose life expectancy is limited anyway and whose quality of life is poor – should have the right to choose to die instead of being forced to suffer. However, the opposing side makes valid points based on the fact that external factors, such as depression, can lead to that choice without the consideration of other options. As a result, it is important that, when considering legalized euthanasia, protections are put into place to insure the mental and
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