The controversial issue of Euthanasia or assisted suicide has been widely argued over many years and present. Euthanasia literally means dying without suffering. Recently, a law of euthanasia has been legalized and made in the state of Oregon. There are people who agree the law of euthanasia, even though there are also people who strongly oppose it. The following articles examine questions and answers about issues on euthanasia or assisted suicide. The articles are “In Defense of Voluntary Euthanasia” by Sidney Hook, “Promoting a Culture of Abandonment” by Teresa R. Wagner, “The Right to Choose Death” by Kenneth Swift, and “Death and the Law: Why the Government Has an Interest in Preserving Life” by Lawrence Rudden and Gerard V. Bradley. Hook and Swift are people who support euthanasia. In contrast, Wagner, Rudden and Bradley don’t think euthanasia does any good to others. Since there are diversity views on euthanasia, authors argue on various issues of euthanasia in different ways.
Do people want euthanasia? Authors explain their thoughts about euthanasia in humanitarian and moral way. Hook believes we should have euthanasia because patients can’t handle any more pain and suffering. Most importantly, they have already paid their “dues to death.” Why do they need to suffer more (Hook 238)? In addition, they are not the only one who suffers. Mainly, patients’ family would also suffer and burdened with anxiety of their health. Due to the fact that disruption occurred and affected their normal life, euthanasia is a solution to patients who don’t want any more pressure added to patients’ family (238). Eventually not everyone wants euthanasia. Wagner thinks that enough abandonment is happening in our society and community, like “abandoning each other “in marriages. Another example would be abortion, which teaches “society to abandon mothers, and mothers to abandon their children.”
We shouldn’t influence the culture of abandonment more by having euthanasia. We can’t stand things that can affect us (Wagner 241). Mother Teresa is another good example of not supporting euthanasia, since she had done numerous things to save terminal ill patients (242). As authors discuss about the desire of euthanasia; meanwhile, they are also arguing about regulations of euthanasia. Should the law of euthanasia be passed? Some may argue that the law is to help terminally ill patients to release suffer and pain (Swift 243). However there are also people who think once the law is passed and allowed; people would abuse the use of euthanasia. Even though there would be less cost on curing the patient by having euthanasia, pressure would be added to doctors (Wagner 240). The reason is because once the law is passed doctors will change into a killer. Another thought is that most of the people “don’t want to die “, even though there are chances that we might be killed in certain accidents (Rudden and Bradley).
People are arguing whether legalize euthanasia or not, but they are also arguing the possession of rights on assisted suicide. Do people have the right to choose assisted suicide? It seems that Hook agrees it. He thinks everyone should have their own choice of living or dying. And no one else has the power of controlling another’s death. Thus the “responsibility for the decision” is upon the person who chooses the decision (Hook 239). While Hook agrees that people should have the right to choose assisted suicide, Rudden and Bradley disagree. Somehow it is not simple to die as you wish. Doctors won’t just give you medications without speaking a word. They won’t grant you “certain treatment” just because you want it. They do not work “at our service” (Rudden and Bradley 245).
The final issue is whether assisted suicide should apply to patients. Author Hook and Swift both agreed. Hook uses his experience to explain why he agrees. He had suffered by a tragedy of stroke. He had suffered from a lot of pain. During the time when he is still conscious, he had asked the physician to teach him how to discontinue his life-supporting equipment. But the physician didn’t grant what Hook wants. Afterward when Hook recovered, he still thinks he should have died instead of once again letting his family be the sufferers (Hook 237). Swift agrees by using his pet dog as an example of humans. Through the example it tells us that even a dog can have euthanasia. But why human can’t use euthanasia to end their self with dignity. (Wagner 243). But, other person like Wagner thinks that assisted suicide only applies to people who need it really much, example; terminally ill patients (Wagner 240).
The issues of assisted suicide or euthanasia are complicated, and we should reconsider it. In fact, passing the law of euthanasia might be a good thing to others but surely not all. There are no strong clear answers on euthanasia, but after reconsideration of you own, hopefully there will be one that will be right for you.
Courtney from Study Moose
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