Euthanasia, assisted suicide, mercy killing, whatever you want to call it is a topic that is argued by many people and debated by groups all around the world. It has been the means of thousands of protests; every time a family member or the patient themself wants to “pull the plug” there is always people wondering why. Society seems to have an input as well. Although, it should not be up to society to decide what is best for the man or woman on their deathbed. Society has no right to get involved in a person’s life in which they do not know. Euthanasia should be a decision made by the one who is suffering because it is their life and only they have the right to decide if their time has come or not. Euthanasia should be legalized because many people suffer great pain from terminal illnesses, and they should be able to die when they are ready.
“The rise of advanced medical technologies, especially life-sustaining ones, has brought to center stage the various moral issues involved in euthanasia. People can be kept alive against their wishes or in states of pain and other forms of suffering, such as loss of control, fatigue, depression, hopelessness. It is also possible to keep people alive who are in a coma or a persistent vegetative state. The term "coma" refers to a condition in which the eyes are closed, the person cannot be aroused, and there is no sleep/wake cycle. A vegetative state is a condition in which there is no awareness including awareness of pain and suffering, no rationality or emotionality, the eyes are open, and there is a sleep/wake cycle. In cases like these, the use of medical technologies raises questions about the moral appropriateness of death” (Humphry). But just because a machine is keeping you alive, it is only postponing the inevitable and putting a person through pain. A person who is suffering and only living on machines should have the right to whether they want technology to keep them alive or not.
Euthanasia comes from the Greek eu “good” and thanotos “death” so this means literally “good death”. Nowadays it means doing something to achieve a “good death”. Euthanasia is illegal in forty-nine of the fifty states. The only state where it is legal is Oregon when they passed the limited physician suicide law in 1994. In all the other states it is illegal to commit suicide whether it’s assisted or not and there used to be a punishment where the government would take all the belongings of the victim. Suicide is no longer a crime but they can still place the person in a hospital for 3 days for psychiatric evaluation (Torr 18).
Dr. Jack Kevorkian began assisting with suicide in 1990. Some officials thought this to be wrong and labeled the good doctor a murderer. Dr. Kevorkian, or how some have called him “Dr. Death”, has had his medical license suspended, been brought to trial, and been convicted of murder for his work (Jack Kevorkian Biography). To have this doctor have his rights taken away for helping people is ridiculous.
Now, where you have debate on whether euthanasia should become legal, you’re always going to have counter arguments from people that stand against it. People against it say taking a life, even if it your own, is unethical because it is still the act of taking life away, and that is murder. According to Daniel P. Sulmasy, a Franciscan monk and a professor of medicine at Georgetown University, all life has an intrinsic value. He doesn’t believe that all patients should be kept alive at all costs; he contends that it is sometimes ethical to stop a dying person’s treatment and allow him or her to die. However he thinks killing is always wrong.
He says, “All killing of patients is morally wrong while allowing some patients to die is not.”
Now other reasons why they might label euthanasia unethical is because doctors take the Hippocratic oath this oath states that doctors will do everything in their power to help their patient no matter what: