Assisted suicide or euthanasia

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By: Mayan Marshall E-mail: ASSISTED SUICIDE or euthanasia On July 26, 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld decisions in New York and Washington State that criminalized assisted suicide. As of April 1999, physicians-assisted suicide is illegal in all but a couple of states. Over thirty states have established laws prohibiting assisted suicide, and of those who don't have statues, a number of them prohibit it through common law. In Michigan, Jack Kevorkian was initially charged with violating the state statue. He was charged with first-degree murder and delivering a controlled substance without a license. The assisted suicide charge was dropped, however, he was eventually convicted of second-degree murder and delivering a controlled substance without a license. Only one state, Oregon, has legalized assisted suicide. The Oregon law, which went into effect in October 1997, provides that a doctor may prescribe, but not administer, a lethal dose of medication to a patient who has less than six months to live.

As of April 1999, 23 patients were given the drugs under the statue, and 15 of them used the drugs to commit suicide. A report released by the Oregon State Health Division found that the law was working well and had not been subject to abuse (REED A9). The word Euthanasia originated from the Greek language: eu means "good" and thanatos means "death". The term euthanasia normally means that the person who wishes to commit suicide must initiate the act (WORLD BOOK). However, some people define euthanasia to include both voluntary and involuntary termination of life. Euthanasia has many meanings so it is important to differentiate among the vaguely related terms. These meanings of terms were cited from George Lundberg, M.D. in Views of Assisted suicide. Involuntary Euthanasia: This term is used by some to describe the killing of...