Euthanasia and the Right to Die Essay

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The Oxford English Dictionary defines euthanasia as “the action of inducing a gentle and easy death” (Oxford English Dictionary). Many people around the world would like nothing more than to end their lives because they are suffering from painful and lethal diseases; suffering people desperately seek doctors to help them end their lives. Many people see euthanasia as murder, so euthanasia is illegal in many countries. Euthanasia is an extremely controversial issue that has many complex factors behind it including medical costs, murder and liberty rights. Should people have the rights to seek euthanasia from doctors who are well trained in dealing with euthanasia?

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On June 26, 1997, the Supreme Court ruled on two cases dealing with euthanasia; in the rulings, the judges decided that there was no constitutional right to die (ProCon). In recent years, many states and even other countries have been trying to legalize doctor assisted suicide.

Recently Oregon passed a law that made doctor assisted suicide legal. The law went into effect in 1997 but was later challenged by the Bush Administration when they undermine the law with a directive issued under the federal Controlled Substances Act; The Supreme court eventually declared that the federal government had overstepped its power(Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia). Since then, the state of Washington has also passed a similar law in 2008 (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia). Additionally, in 2008, the Supreme Court of Montana ruled on a case; in the ruling they stated that “state law did not bar a terminally ill patient from seeking a prescription from a physician for the drugs necessary for suicide” (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia)

Many people who oppose euthanasia argue that it devalues human life. Religious books, such as the Bible and the Torah, say that a human life is a precious gift, and to actively destroy this precious gift is a sin. Allowing doctors to help their patients kill themselves would be destroying the precious gift of life that was given to them.

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