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The Attitudes of Euthanasia Legalization in the Usa

Autor:   •  November 3, 2016  •  Research Paper  •  2,696 Words (11 Pages)  •  465 Views

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The Attitudes of Euthanasia Legalization in the US

Lu, Chuan Chieh


Independent Research Writing

Instructor: Della Abrahams



The Attitudes of Euthanasia Legalization in the US

Jack Kevorkian, who was the first person to support euthanasia legalization in the US, said that “Dying is not a crime.” Have you ever thought about why you cannot end your life? Even though you get an incurable disease, you cannot do anything. That is why euthanasia is a controversial topic in the US. Euthanasia, or "mercy killing," is the act of taking the life of someone, who has a terminal illness, could not live longer anymore. According to California Laws, it became the 5th state which legalized euthanasia in June 2016 (Aliferis, 2016). We could see why euthanasia is critical from The Oregon Public Heath Annual Reports. It shows that people who chose euthanasia continue to grow up since 1997. It means more and more people pay attention to their right. Alternatively, if euthanasia could legalize in the whole US, people do not need to move to the other legal state to execute it. For example, Brittany Lauren Maynard, who has terminal brain cancer advocate for the legalization in California. At that time, she did not have her right to die, so she ended her life in Oregon in 2014 (Aliferis, 2016). Unfortunately, some people they do not agree on euthanasia because they think our life are sanctity. Also, euthanasia legalization is the way to encourage suicide and abuse of power. For instance, if the family does not have enough money take care their family, they might choose euthanasia to make their live easier. In Taiwan, euthanasia is illegal, so it makes me want to know more about it. In this paper, I will analyze argument for and against


euthanasia, and will share my viewpoint about it.

Some people believe that legalizing euthanasia would be beneficial to humanity. Euthanasia, the word in any way it appears to have great controversy. According to Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (u.d.), it gives the definition of euthanasia is “the deliberate killing of a person who is very ill and going to die, to stop them suffering. On the other hand, in “Macmillan Encyclopedia of Death and Dying,” Robert Kastenbaum (2002) says that “Euthanasia is considered to be voluntary when it takes place by the wishes of a competent individual, whether these wishes have been made known personally or by a valid advance directive(page 267). ” In a simple way to, euthanasia is a gentle and natural death. People who choose euthanasia must know that this behavior is voluntary. However, they need to deal with through legal procedures.

Nowadays, Kastenbaum (2002) writes that there are only five states-- Washington, Oregon, California, and Vermont Montana—with euthanasia legalization in the US. The history of euthanasia in the US, it can be traced back to 1994.Also, according to Death with Dignity Act, Oregon 51% of voters for more than 49 percent voted against euthanasia. However, Amelia Mihaela Diaconescu (2012) says that Oregon became the first state euthanasia legalization in November 1994.

Kastenbaum (2002) says that Oregon still needs to follow four basic conditions--the


person must be at least eighteen years old, a legal resident of Oregon, able to communicate his or her decisions about medical care, and in the terminal phase of an illness that define as having a life expectancy of fewer than six months-- based on this law.

Moving on, Netherland is the first country legal euthanasia in April 2002 (Mitcham, 2005). However, if we compare euthanasia between Netherland and US, we notice that even euthanasia is legal in these countries, but they have their rules and laws for euthanasia.

In “Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics”, Carl Mitcham (2005) says that there are six states that the request for euthanasia in Netherland – be satisfied that the patient’s request is voluntary and well- considered, be convinced that the patient’s suffering is unbearable and that there is no prospect for improvement, inform the patient of his or her situation and further prognosis, no other reasonable solution, other physicians should at least consult a doctor with an independent point of view, and should be consistent with the quality of medical practice (pp.713).

The rules here just remind and confirm with people again. The same point between these two countries is that people need to be responsible for their life. The laws an individual who is suffering has the right to choose what should be with his or her life. The laws would be necessary when doctors help with patient's family. Alternatively, the patient could have a


right to decide should be treated or not. Illness is unpredictable even though medical technology becomes much greater than before. If the patient knows that even if they get treatment, they cannot become better, then, they have their rights to say no. Also, the only difference between Netherland and US is legalization ages. In the US, people must be over eighteen (Kastenbaum, 2002). On the other hand, in Netherland, if the patient ages ranged from 12-16 years old, they must first obtain the consent of parents (Mitcham, 2005).

        One of the reasons for euthanasia is a cultural difference. For example, America and Europe are more open-minded about euthanasia. According to Andrew Dugan (2015) writes that 68% people in the US are for legalization euthanasia. Especially the age between 18 to 34 years old are increasing. It means that more and more people know about euthanasia and supports it in the US. However, there are some advantages to being legalization euthanasia.

Legalization euthanasia could bring some pros (“ProCon,”2013). First, right to die, a person who is suffering has the right to choose what should be with his or her life. If the patient does not want to feel painful, he or she has their right to die. Euthanasia could be a way to help patient end their life. Second, healthcare spending implications will be another reason to support euthanasia. For example, patients who have the untreatable disease can choose to get medical attention but that would be eventually futile. For these patients who do not have enough health insurance. Spending all their money on incurable disease is not their


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