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Euthanasia Essay – The Need for Physician Assisted Suicide

The Need for Physician Assisted Suicide

Man is born with death in his hand. We all will

die. We may be able to postpone death but we cannot avoid it. We all die of

something, somewhere, somehow. Although we cannot avoid death, we can control

the death caused by a terminal illness. We can determine how, when, where, and

with whom we die.

Right now at this time, there are over 10,000 patients in

the United States that are in a permanent vegetative state. Also there are

thousands of handicapped infants born each year. With the technology we have

today, we are able to help people survive for long periods. About two million

Americans die every year. About 85% of them are in an institution. 80% involve

a decision by someone to try to prolong life or to let it go. It is estimated

that around four of every five Americans will die of lingering, chronic

illness, which cannot be cured but can be artificially prolonged. Odds are not

in your favor to die naturally at home.

The following are some thing to clear

up any confusion about assisted suicide and euthanasia. Euthanasia is act of

mercifully ending the life of a hopelessly suffering patient; taken from a

similar Greek word meaning “easy or good death” Physician-Assisted Suicide –

assisted by a qualified medical practitioner in fulfilling the wishes of a

competent, terminally-ill patient to end his/her own life, usually by means of

lethal injections. The difference between the two is during euthanasia is when

death itself occurs, it’s carried out by the doctor but in doctor-assisted

suicides, the patient fulfills the final step of terminating his/her own life.

“Passive” Euthanasia is ending a patient’s life by withholding or withdrawing

life-sustaining treatments, and “Active” Euthanasia is causing a virtually

painless death by means without which life would continue naturally, usually

referring to lethal injections and lastly, suicide is the act of taking one’s

own life voluntarily and intentionally.

A very well talked about doctor who

assists in suicide is Dr. Jack Kevorkian. He has pointed out the benefits of

assisted suicide. Some of those are that it reduces patient’s suffering family

and friends of patient. Dr. Kevorkian also asks his own patients to donate

vital organs or undergo a critical medical experiment, which helps science,

medicine, society, and the lives of others.

Doping, Athletes and Sports

Doping can be strictly defined as the consumption of any substance (whether food or drug) to improve one’s performance. This definition can be applied in a variety of situations, from college students drinking coffee in order to stay awake to athletes who take steroids to make them stronger. The problem with doping is where one draws the line. The drugs used in doping often have detrimental effects to one’s health, both mental and physical. In the short run these drugs improve one’s performance, but in the long run they can kill.

Turning sports into a way of life instead of a leisure activity has generated fierce competition for athletes to be the best at what they do. Having a “natural ability” no longer is enough. One must work long and hard hours to gain an edge on the competition. However, these days, even good training cannot guarantee a victory. For athletes and coaches the drive to be at the top is so great that they look for shortcuts to their end goal: winning. The one who wins is always the one who is remembered in the end; finishing second is worse than finishing last. When this type of attitude becomes predominant, it is not so surprising that they try any and all methods of cheating the system. In this way, doping has become a common practice for athletes to gain advantage on their competition. Is this a practice that we as the general public should accept, or is there something we can do to change the status quo?

Doping is a practice that has been going on since the time of “ancient Greek athletes, who supposedly ate herbs, sesame seeds, dried figs, and mushrooms for this purpose” (Hoberman, 1992, 104). Likewise, athletes have readily consumed such drugs as caffeine and alcohol to improve performa…

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…thlete under twenty-four hour surveillance is neither feasible nor lawful. Only when there are more accurate tests can the enforcement of drug rules and regulations be possible. As more sophisticated tests come to market, fewer drugs will escape detection. With the limited ability of current techniques to catch athletes red-handed, pressure must be put on the athletic community to reject doping. Until the athletic community refuses doping as a means to an end, little can be done to stop it from happening.

Works Cited

Barnes, Julian. (2000). “The Hardest Test.” The New Yorker. Aug. 21

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