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Comparison Essay - the Viewpoint of a Magazine Influences

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Comparison Essay: The viewpoint of a magazine influences

the opinions expressed in the article

Huyen Nguyen

Student ID: 30110623

Banking Academy of Vietnam – City University of Seattle

Course: Critical Thinking

Instructor: Dr. DeChambeau

Due Date: 24 April, 2016


It is a moral principle for a human being to own the right to live, nonetheless, does it reasonable to own the right to terminate one’s life? In other words, do people have the right to decide whether their lives are count for worth living? For many years, the debate for the right to die and right to kill has centered around the issue of voluntary euthanasia – mercy death. According to BBC, voluntary euthanasia is the act of miserably sick individuals requests doctors for a painless way of dying. Since the issue has raised controversy in society due to different point of views, this paper will examine two articles, each of which stands for opposite opinions of legalizing mercy death to analyze the influence of writers’ viewpoints.

        In Greece, euthanasia is a word for good death, this issue has challenged ethical views, human rights, health, culture perspectives around the world. The argument against legalizing voluntary euthanasia will be assessed first. In the article “Killing us softly: the dangers of legalizing assisted suicide”, the writer believes that mercy killing is morally incorrect and should be banned by law. Since life is the most precious gift of all, human should have the right to receive appropriate and standard health care. An alternative to physician-assisted suicide is the practice of palliative nursing, as it not only enables a suffering patient to live a pain-free life but it also supports and comforts their families. In particular, this approach “… affirms life and regards dying as a normal process; it neither hastens nor postpones death; it provides relief from pain and suffering; it integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of the patient” (WHO | WHO Definition of Palliative Care", 2016). In addition to arguments against legalizing aid-in-dying, the article also states that patients with life-limiting illness are vulnerable. In fact, the psychological and emotional depression are associated with a change in cognitive including a significant decrease in intellectual functioning, confusion and depression. As a result, patients often feel worthlessness and an undue pressure which affect directly to their judgments. “The wish for death is a cry for help, a reliable sign of depression” (Young, 2011). Moreover, “fear, bias, and prejudices against disability” (Young, 2011) is another important point that the writer has mentioned in the article. If the law on legalizing euthanasia was promulgated, it would probably send the message that “it’s better to be dead than sick or disabled” (BBC - Ethics - Euthanasia: Anti-euthanasia arguments, n.d.). Undoubtedly, there is an embedded perception that the life of a person with impairment of body function is full of indignity, pain, and frailty. For this reason, the value of a human life with disabilities is being downgraded and doctors tend to gives disabled people a choice of euthanasia rather than supports them to live fully.

On the contrary, those who in favor of mercy death also have strong arguments for this debatable issue. The first argument from supporters of mercy death mentioned in the article “Voluntary Euthanasia” is that the decision to stay alive or to decide when and how to die is an individual’s private decisions. General speaking, every human being is an independent biological entity with the right to life, liberty and pursue happiness. Undoubtedly, the life of a person is worthwhile, however, it is a significant violation of human’s freedom to be forced to continue a painful, miserable life. Obviously, it is the opposite to happiness and unethical to do things against a person’s will. In addition to arguments for voluntary euthanasia, the writer also asserts that euthanasia still remains necessary while there is palliative care. As a matter of fact, palliative care, which can do an excellent job on controlling physical and emotional pain, also associated with side effects such as nausea, breathing problem and loss of awareness. Since “many skilled palliative care specialists acknowledge that palliative care does not enable an easeful death for every patient” (Golden, 2009), legalizing euthanasia still remains a long worldwide debated issue. Furthermore, a patient’s request to end life does not always stem from pain caused by illness. In fact, it is the unbearability of forced dependence on others, medicine and medical equipment that people concern. Additionally, the writer of “Voluntary Euthanasia” counter the argument of patients with mental incompetency in making judgments. According to the writer, it is certainly that a patient’s request for a mercy death is not always genuinely voluntary. Therefore, it is up to doctors to make sure that patients are not in momentary despair or delusion and experiencing undue pressure from others when making that decision. Euthanasia supporters suggest that “a cooling off period should be required before euthanasia is permitted” (Golden, 2009) and psychiatric consultation should be mandatory for patients.

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