Should Euthanasia Be Legalized?

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The Hippocratic Oath, written between 5th-3rd centuries BCE, is an important reference for the ethical standards that medical practitioners follow in the United States. One statement seen in the oath is that “[a physician] will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel”(“The Hippocratic Oath”), directly refuting the morality of voluntary active euthanasia, which is a highly contentious issue in the United States. Voluntary active euthanasia is currently illegal in the United States. However, I believe that patients with terminal illnesses experiencing a lot of pain and misery should have the right to die the way they choose, with dignity, instead of being subjected to agony. People should be able to choose voluntary active euthanasia, if ever need be, which is why I believe that despite current policy, voluntary active euthanasia should be legalized.
So, what is euthanasia? Euthanasia is “the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma” (“Euthanasia”). There are many different types of euthanasia, however this paper will be specifically focusing on that of voluntary active euthanasia. This is where a physician is “intentionally administering medications to cause the patient’s death at the patient’s request and with full, informed consent”(Manning). It is also important to know the definitions of voluntary passive euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. Voluntary passive

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