Euthanasia


"It is conceivable, that life can deteriorate to the point
where persons lose their dignity and self-respect and are unable
to communicate; life in such a form no longer meets meets the
basic criteria of human-ness." (O'Keefe, A1) Under these
circumstances only should Euthanasia be practiced and then only
passively ("pulling the plug"). "Dutch Death", Euthanasia,
doctor assisted suicide, whatever you want to call it, it should
not be legalized.

People should live their lives for as long as long as it is
worth living. As long as someone can still have experiences and
communicate with others, they should go on living. Someone may
have six months to live and decides to end their life rematurely,
saying that they are going to die anyway, why bother with
waiting. It is the same with anyone. Everyone will eventually
die, so why doesn't every one just kill themselves now? It is
because there are things they want to do and see, there is life
they still have yet to experience. The same thing is true for a
terminably ill person, they could do alot in that six months.
They write an autobiography or a novel, do a lot of reading or
traveling, who knows? It has been said that trials and pain make
us stronger. Even if someone is in pain, that pain could make
them mentally stronger than if they give up and take the easy way
out. Life is pain, everyone goes through pain in their lives,
but most stick it out to the end, not giving up taking the easy
way out. As long as a person still is able to know what is
happening around them and can interact with the world around them
it should be illegal for doctors to aid in their suicide.

"Some say that doctor-aided death is widespread already,
only covertly, and that the Netherlands is a model of how to
establish the right to die by bringing the practice out
in the open, where the medical and legal system can oversee it.
(O'Keefe, A1+)" This issue is compared to how abortion was
before it was legalized. "The main reason for legalization of
abortion was because it was being done anyway. People HAD access
to abortion, it was just being done terribly. We're in exactly
the same situation today: People do have access to assisted
suicide--it's just being done so badly. (Shavelson, 39)" Just
because something is done does not mean that it should be legal.
Many things that are illegal are done anyway. Look at drugs,
underage drinking, drunk driving, and speeding; these things are
all illegal and are frequently practiced. Should these or other
things be legallized just because they are done anyway? This is
not a valid reason for leagalizing anything.

Where would it end if the practice of euthanasia were to be
legalized, how far would it go? Would it end with assisted death
for the terminably ill? The world looks to the Netherlands as
the only working model of assisted death, a nation known for its
open aproach to abortion, prostitution and drug use. "A
`coffieshop' next to an Amsterdam police station has on its menu
hash and maijuana, one-forth of an ounce for 25 gulden, about
$15. A block away a movie theater is showing the film, `Brutally
Raped,' accompanied by an advertisement that it is banned in most
countries. Hookers stand in store windows of the red light
district. (O'Keefe, A1+)" This country has an open approach to
things that most people frown on and yet many "right to die"
activists look to it as an example of what to make ourselves
into. If we started with the terminably ill, would we stop
there, or would we continue on. Perhaps any physically deformed
people, then anyone with a disease, next any elderly people
without much will left. Maybe the doctors would start going
around euthanizing anyone they deemed fit for death. Then
perhaps we would become like a dog or cat and instead of
bothering to heal us we would just be put down. Who knows where
it would end. These examples are pretty radical, but once we
take that first step there is no telling where it will end.

Sometimes change is needed in society, sometimes things must
change to fit societies needs. Some things, however, can never
change; it will always be wrong to steal, it will always be
wrong to kill, and it will allways be wrong to kill someone.


Works cited

Henry, Sarah. "The Battle Over Assisted Suicide: A Time to Die"
California Lawyer, January, 1996


O'Keefe, Mark. "Doctor Assisted Suicide: Dutch Death"
The Oregonian, January 8, 1995.