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Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

There has been much debate over euthanasia and assisted suicide with

no agreement in sight. Currently Oregon is the only state that allows

euthanasia and assisted suicide in the United States. Like all

questions involving the projection of personal beliefs upon the fate

of an entire population, this is an issue that may never be resolved.

Euthanasia and assisted suicide are methods people may take to end

their lives either on their own with lethal prescriptions from

physicians, or under the care of a doctor or assistant with various

methods, lethal injection and the “pulling of the plug” on life

support machines being the most common. An assisted suicide would be

granted only to a person “who is terminally ill, and who feels that

their life is not worth living because of intractable pain, and/or

loss of dignity, and/or loss of capability and who repeatedly and

actively asks for help in committing suicide and who is of sound mind

and not suffering from depression”. [Robinson]

Conservative religious groups, and some medical associations and

disability groups are the most common protesters of assisted suicide.

Many fundamentalist religions believe that it violates the natural

desire to live, it harms other people, and ultimately, that life is a

gift from God and should only be taken by God. [Robinson] Some

disability groups fear that assisted suicide may lead to more cases of

people being killed against their will in order to fulfill society’s

desire for a disability-free population. Medical associations often

disagree because their goals are often to extend and prolong life as

long as possible. Th…

… middle of paper …

…g. To rule out the

option completely is taking away a personal human right.

As with most ethical squabbles, the debate over legal euthanasia is a

personal one. The desire is strong, in government and religion, to

decide the fate of it’s people based on individual position. It seems

that personal choice is the only resolution to the debate over

euthanasia. Those opposed to assisted suicide would not choose to have

one and would respect the choice of others to live or end their lives

as they so choose. Assisted death is not something to be taken lightly

or to be used often. Strict laws to govern the use are necessary. In

conclusion, a quote by Derek Humphrey, a euthanasia advocate,

describes the necessary conditions for euthanasia. He said,

“Euthanasia should always be voluntary, justified, legal, and rare.”


Essay on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide – Can You Define Murder?

Can You Define Murder?

“And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in

the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.”

(Genesis 4:8)

Back in those days, murder was pretty clear cut. If you killed someone, it

was called murder. Of course, if you had a reason, then it was justifiable. Back

then, it was an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Or a life for a life. But

in these fast paced and politically correct times, is there justifiable murder?

Webster’s Dictionary says that murder is “the unlawful killing of another human

being, especially with premeditated malice.” Unlawful killing of another human

being. And most people would tend to agree, that there are circumstances in

which killing someone else is just fine, and even desirable. But what are

those circumstances? What exactly is justifiable killing? Is abortion OK?

How about war? Euthanasia? These are topics that are in hot controversy these

days, as civil rights groups battle political standings that have been around

for dozens of years.

Capital punishment is among those instances of justified killing that has been

debated for years, and continues to be an extremely indecisive and complicated

issue. Adversaries of capital punishment point to the Marshalls and the

Millgards, while proponents point to the Dahmers and Gacys. Society must be kept

safe from the monstrous barbaric acts of these individuals and other killers by

taking their ability to function and perform in our society away from them. At

the same time, we must insure that innocent people such as Marshall and Millgard

are never convicted or sentenced to death for a crime that they did not commit.

In February 1963, Gary McCorkell, a 19 year old sex offender, was scheduled to

hang. But just days before his execution, the then Liberal cabinet of Lester

Person commuted McCorkell to life in prison. His actual term was only a

percentage of that. Less than 20 years later, McCorkell was arrested, tried, and

convicted for the kidnapping and rape of a 10-year old Tennessee boy. He was

sentenced to 63 years in prison. Once again, his term was reduced, and he moved

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