Essay about The Debate Over Euthanasia

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The Debate Over Euthanasia

The controversy over euthanasia has recently become highly publicized. However, this issue is not a new debate. Society has voiced its opinions on the subject for hundreds of years. Euthanasia, which is Greek for "good death", refers to the act of ending another person’s life in order to end their suffering and pain.1 Two forms, passive and active euthanasia, categorize the actions taken to end the person’s life. Passive euthanasia involves removing a patient’s life support, withholding food and water, and discontinuing medical treatments. Active euthanasia includes any direct action taken to cause the death of the person, such as administrating a lethal drug.2 The debate over this issue stems from moral,
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Why patients turn to euthanasia

Medical procedures and treatments improve immensely every year. With the new technology and advancements, diseases and ailments that were once deadly are not nearly as incapacitating as in previous years. However, some remain debilitating and fatal. For example, some forms of cancer remain terminal even after numerous attempts at treatment. Sometimes the side effects from chemotherapy like nausea, extreme exhaustion and muscle soreness, are more severe than the symptoms of the disease itself.6 Often times, the patients begin to feel as though the efforts being made to cure their disease have become useless and have made their life not worthwhile. In these cases, terminal patients might choose to simply stop the treatments. Another time when a person might turn to euthanasia is when the illness is causing him a terrible amount of pain, and the medicine being administered to the patient does not allow him to live the kind of life that he wants to have. Those for euthanasia maintain that if this practice were to be legalized, there would be several restrictions on who could be eligible for this procedure.7 A patient would have to be of sound mind, have been stricken with a terminal illness, or be in a state of constant and crippling pain. Some notable advocates who have
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