Euthanasia: A Right to Choose

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Think for a moment that you are terminally ill. You have a choice: die a death of excruciating pain, loss of conscious awareness, or accept your fate, enjoy the precious time and life you have left, saying your goodbyes when you're ready, and slip away peacefully and pain free. Which do you choose? Obviously, no one wants to die in pain. So, why not let them choose to die with dignity? Studies show that 80% of chronically-ill seniors die institutionalized in hospitals or long-term care facilities (Valente).Two-thirds of that population suffer from both age-related and unnatural disorders that are not referred to soon enough to receive proper care in their last days. As a result, approximately 82% of them suffer unnecessary pain in their last twenty-four hours. Severely suffering patients typically spend their last days in the Intensive Care Unit plugged with countless tubes, or in extreme cases, either comatose or on ventilators (Valente).

Tubes protruding from their lifeless body, fluids forcefully flushed through their veins, deteriorating in mental and physical health, in a state where the quality of life has already died, not quite the picturesque end that anyone pictures for themselves. However, people pass on like this everyday because a law has not been passed in their state allowing them to have the option to end the suffering. Convicts on death row, who chose their fate, die far more peaceful, painless deaths than the terminally ill, who did not have a choice in their fate. Euthanasia gives terminally people the chance to choose a "good death"; not a death of unnecessary and excruciating pain. Incredibly, choosing "good death" is illegal in 49 of our 50 states. Oregon established a law in 1998 that allowed active euthanasia to take place. Since then, 170 terminally ill patients have opted to...