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…
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…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.”
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