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Exemplification Essay

Euthanasia means “good death” or “dying well.” Everyone wants to die a good death, whether it is with loved ones close by, or peacefully while sleeping. If the United States adopted a bill similar to Oregon’s “Assisted Suicide Bill,” many unwanted painful deaths could be eliminated. In Oregon, only 91 cases of assisted suicide, in four years, have been reported. This goes to show people are not using this has an “easy way out.” It also proves that Medicare is not cutting costs by ending the lives of people without the means to repay there debts. Only the incurable terminally ill patients have the option of having someone assist them in death, and only in a small percentage of these cases Euthanasia actually occurs.

Because there isn’t a law passed to legalize assisted suicide, many people have and will suffer. The main people who suffer are family and friends of the terminally ill. In many cases, these terminally ill patients decide to go about ending their lives in much tragic ways. Some decide to kill themselves by way of drugs or weapons. In these cases, the families, including the children, are left with a horrible life changing event. The terminally ill patient obviously suffers greatly also. Some sicknesses, including cancers, take months or even years of great sickness and deteriorating to finally kill. The family, in many cases becomes forever in debt with medication and hospital bills. Another person who can suffer from the lack of a bill passed is the physician of the terminally ill. If the physician in any way helps the patient commit suicide, even if it is as simple as handing them a pill, they will be charged and punished for murder. The only thing a physician can legally do is let them die a slow painful death, even if it is against the patients will. The majority of humans agree that putting a pet to sleep, when it is terminally ill, is the humane thing to do. To let your loved cat or dog die a slow painful death is considered inhumane and cruel. Why then is Euthanasia of humans illegal and punishable?

Some misunderstandings of Euthanasia may hinder ones belief about the law. A bill passed by legislature would by no means give people like Dr. Kevorkian a way out of jail. There are a few ways to categorize the different forms of Euthanasia to clear up misunderstandings. There are to ways one may assist suicide which are actively and passively. Passive Euthanasia occurs in instances in which the assistor refuses to intervene in helping one die. Active Euthanasia occurs in instances in which someone takes action in assisting suicide, such as lethal injection. These two forms fall into three different categories each. There is voluntarily, involuntarily and non-voluntarily. Voluntarily is when the patient chooses by themselves, to be put to death. Involuntarily is when a patient is incapable of making a decision for themselves. Lastly, non-voluntarily is when a patient does not want to die, but is put to death anyway.

Obviously the only legal way to commence with Euthanasia should be “Active-Voluntarily.” A patient must first not be forced to, but under their own will, decide to die. There would have to be a waiting and approval period before anything could take place. This would give plenty of time for the patient to think over their decision and give time for a second or third physician to see the patient. If after this period the patient still wants to die, he or she would be prescribed a lethal antidote to be taken where the patient decides. The patient could then be put to rest in the hospital, awake or asleep, or be able to be alone with loved ones at home.

Many people who would like to die are unable to do it themselves. Asking someone to help them should not be murder and punishable with jail terms. The Kantian model of ethics states that human beings have the ability to reason, and therefore the ability to make decisions for themselves, based on their own reasoning. Life and death could be the largest decision one could make for his or herself. It should however, not be punishable if someone helps carry out a persons’ decision to die.


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