Essay about Euthanasia as Mercy or Murder

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Euthanasia as Mercy or Murder


"In keeping with the root definition of 'euthanasia'- literally [meaning] 'good
death'- [supporters] of euthanasia insist they are talking about helping terminally ill
patients in insufferable pain die a dignified death- at the patient's request. But this
bears no resemblance to the true picture of the actual practice of euthanasia in the
United States" (Lyons np). Passive euthanasia is death by nonintervention, meaning
a health care worker can discontinue providing life-sustaining treatment to the
patient, thus allowing him to die more quickly. "In all actuality, [passive]
euthanasia often involves withholding food and water from a patient whose death is
caused by starvation or dehydration
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The most active group of supporters are members of the Hemlock Society.
These supporters are Christians and churchgoers and believe that the God they
worship is a God of understanding and love. They also believe that "as long as [the
act of 'mercy killing'] was justifiable and met the conditions of not hurting other
people then they feel that God would accept them into heaven" (Humphry 19).
Sure, in the eyes of euthanasia supporters, even those who claim to be
Christians, 'mercy killing' is a noble and compassionate act, but what is the 5th
commandment? You shall not kill. Those four words alone seem to eliminate all
possible suggestions in favor of euthanasia. Derek Humphry, founder of the
Hemlock Society, "... helped his wife, who was suffering from incurable bone
cancer, to take her life by supplying her with a cup of coffee laced with a lethal
mixture of secobarbital and codeine" (Worsnop 156). "Our society, basing its
views primarily on the fundamental values of Judaism and Christianity, has always
forbidden the taking of innocent life and has considered that act one of the most
serious, if not the most serious, breaches of morality possible" (Bleich 41).
Judeo-Christians believe that a person has no inherent right to commit suicide and
that the life of man can be reclaimed only by God Himself. They feel that suffering
is a part of God's life plan and that human's should accept it and learn from it.…