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Euthanasia Essay

  • Submitted by: div3rchick28
  • on December 11, 2008
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,495 words

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Below is an essay on "Euthanasia" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Euthanasia: suicide or mercy?


















Throughout every person’s life, decisions had and are being made, some can heal and others liberate. When talking about euthanasia the first word that comes to mind is death, but it is also a way of helping others with their suffering. The term euthanasia itself in America has a long history of debates, political battles and questions that haven’t been answered. Groups that are in favor of euthanasia considered mercy towards those in suffering, but there’s also groups who are oppose to the idea and claim it to be just another way of murder.
For centuries, euthanasia had normally been understood to mean the process whereby the relief of pain for the dying was the best way to ensure an “easy death.” In ancient Greece and Rome before the coming of Christianity, attitudes toward infanticide, euthanasia, and suicide tended to be tolerant (Dowbiggin 1). However, that changed in the late nineteenth century when euthanasia acquired its modern connotation. For the first time in history, people began defining it as mercy killing (Dowbiggin 2). Now a day the term euthanasia has a narrower meaning, it is mostly used when referring to an action by someone such as a doctor that directly causes death. In contrast, when a doctor prescribes a lethal medication dose for a terminally ill patient to take, the death is referred to as physician-assisted suicide (Engdahl 12).
Former practice of euthanasia or assisted suicide also known as mercy killing is illegal in the United States and most other nations, the latter is presently the subject of controversy (Engdahl 12). Proposals to legalize Euthanasia for the incurably ill became a focal point of public-policy debate in several countries toward the end of the 19th century (Worsnop). In the past few years there has been more widespread controversy about these issues than there was even a decade ago (Engdahl 13). Death came to be considered either a weakness of...

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