Should Euthanasia Be Legalized?

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Policy Manuscript: Euthanasia Introduction One of the most controversial topics in the United States is whether or not euthanasia should be legalized. Though it is not one of the more popular topics discussed in the media, euthanasia is just as important as the others. Euthanasia is defined as “the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma,” and is also referred to as mercy killing (Oxford Dictionaries, 2014a). Though mercy killing is looked at as homicide, not all homicide is illegal. Killing is only seen excusable when it is used as self-defense or as criminal punishment; however, when a kill takes place in any other situation, it is seen as something that is unacceptable and inexcusable. Unlike euthanasia, assisted suicide, defined by the Oxford Dictionary (2014b) “the suicide of a patient suffering from an incurable disease, effected by the taking of lethal drugs provided by a doctor for this purpose,” is legal in five of the fifty states with laws restricting the practice to mentally competent and terminally ill adults (Eckholm, 2014, p. 1). The problem with euthanasia being illegal is that the laws against it are targeting the innocent. Ills The big question that comes to mind is this: Does an individual that does not have any hope of recovery get to decide when and how they are going to die? The answer here is yes, that they are entitled to that right. One of the greatest harms with euthanasia being

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