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The Legalization of Euthanasia in United States

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(Persuasive Speech)

Topic: The legalization of euthanasia in United States

Specific purpose: To persuade my audience that euthanasia should be legalized in United States.

Central idea: Euthanasia terminates patients’ misery, saves money in medical bills, and also realizes people’s rights to choose how they want to live and die.


  1. Lets’ look at a piece of news at the beginning of this month.
  1. On October 6, California announced to allow physician-assisted suicide and became the fifth US state to legalize euthanasia after Montana, Oregon, Washington and Vermont.
  2. The governor Jerry Brow signed a controversial bill to let terminally ill patients seek a doctor's help ending their lives.
  3. The topic was firstly brought to the forefront in California by the case of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman with a brain tumor who moved from San Francisco to Oregon and took her own life by euthanasia last November.
  4. However, as a matter of fact, euthanasia has long been a controversial issue in the United States. (Pause)
  1. Euthanasia is probably a new term to many of us.
  1. According to Christian Nordqvist’s words, euthanasia, also known as physician-assisted suicide, basically means to take a deliberate action with the express intention of ending a life to relieve intractable and persistent suffering.
  2. Euthanasia is generally categorized in several ways, which include voluntary, non-voluntary, or involuntary.
  3. The euthanasia we talked about today refers to voluntary euthanasia, which is non-criminal.

  1. Now let's take a look at the reasons why it should be legalized in United States.
  1. First, euthanasia terminates patients’ misery.
  2. Second, it saves great amount of money in medical bills.
  3. Third, it realizes people’s essential rights to choose how they want to live and die.

(At the very beginning, lets’ focus on the first reason.)


  1. Euthanasia terminates patients’ misery and gives an end to a patient’s life with joy and peacefulness.
  1. Cancers have incredibly bad impacts on a person, both physically and psychologically.
  1. Imagine how a brain tumor can hurt you. The haunted and intense headache never goes away, while you lose the ability to take care of yourself as your body is in a seriously weak state. This sounds terrible to all of us, right?
  1. However, there are still many untreatable cancers which have similar physical effects on patients.
  1. Scientists have not yet discovered effective ways to cure certain types of cancer, so they remain incurable and keep torturing patients.
  2. When a patient encounters such miserable cancers and cannot feel any improvement in his physical state after accepting numerous treatments from a doctor, there is nearly nothing left besides misery and death in his or her life.
  1.  In this situation, euthanasia can be a good way to terminate the patient’s misery.
  1. It shortens one’s suffering way to death, while death is anticipated in the near future.
  2. It offers the patient a chance to pass away with peacefulness rather than dying in agony.
  1. Euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide is the best thing that a doctor can offer to a dying patient since he or she cannot offer the patient a better alternative.

(Besides terminating a patient’s misery, euthanasia can also help to save a great amount of money in medical bills.)

  1. Saving the great amount of money from medical bills can alleviate a family’s economic burden.
  1. Undoubtedly, the medical bill for cancer treatment is a huge amount of money.
  1. According to American Society of Clinical Oncology, which discussed the costs of cancer care at a recent meeting, newly approved cancer drugs cost an average of $10,000 per month, with some therapies topping $30,000 per month.
  2. Paying a great amount of money with not knowing if the patient is going to get any better, in a way, is just spending time and money on an unchanged or even worse situation.
  1. Think about this. Patients are paying to make the great suffer longer when they already understand the upcoming death. So if the patient desires euthanasia, why not offer it to him or her?
  1. For those who are terminally ill, they do not want to be an emotional and financial burden to their relatives. Therefore without their existence, they would be lightening their family’s burdens of the hefty medical bills as well as the emotional strain of care giving.

 (Here, we should notice an important fact that no matter what the family thinks or does, the decision to have euthanasia should always be made by the patient. This refers to a patients’ basic right of life.)

  1. Everyone has the right to choose how they want to live and die.
  1. First of all, deciding if you want to be alive or not is a personal decision.
  1. Neither the doctor nor the government has the authority to decide if you should live or not. Since they are not in your situation and they cannot make the most appropriate and comfortable decision for you.
  1. The decision about live or die can and should made by the patient without asking anyone’s permission.
  1.  Euthanasia might sound like suicide. But again, it’s a personal problem rather than a public decision.
  2. The society gives us the liberty to decide our job, our family, our religion, and even our sex preference. Why should it not give us the right to decide if we want to live or not? That should be the first right before all the others I have mentioned above.
  3. No one else can decide for you how you live, therefore choices are also made by one, and hence, if one wants to go for euthanasia, it should be granted.


(After discussing the three reasons, here we come to do the conclusion.)


  1. Euthanasia should be legalized in United States.
  1. By euthanasia, the patient’s misery is eventually terminated and all the sufferings are brought to an end.
  2. By euthanasia, a huge amount of money can be saved in medical bills to relieve a family’s pressure.
  3. By euthanasia, patients realize their rights to choose how they want to live and die.
  1. As so far, we only have five states that have legalized euthanasia in United States, as there are a lot arguments opposed to this action. However, I believe that when people learn more about the advantages of euthanasia, as which I stated above, they will have a better understanding of it and will tend to reconsider it.
  2. The legalization of euthanasia still have a long and tough way to go in United States. And at the end, to finish my speech, I want to quote the Governor Jerry Brow’s words, which he said when he signed the bill to legalize euthanasia in California. Jerry Brow said, "I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn't deny that right to others."

Thank You!

Work Cited

AFP. "California Becomes Fifth US State to Allow Euthanasia." YAHOO! NEWS. Yahoo! Inc., 5

Oct. 2015. Web. 14 Oct. 2015.

Nordqvist, Christian. "What Is Euthanasia (assisted Suicide)? What Is the Definition of Assisted



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