Essay by SanderHigh School, 10th gradeA, August 2005

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-Essay - Euthanasia

We share with all forms of life the certainty of death. It is natural to hope that it will come to us peacefully and without prolonged suffering or distress. At present this hope is not always realised. Because of prejudice, taboos, misunderstanding and the legal position in our society, people who have good reason to seek a medically assisted or induced death are unable to obtain it. They may have to endure periods of intolerable suffering, often with unwanted total dependency on others. Many would be relieved of anxiety about their final days if they knew that a quick and peaceful death could be available to them in such circumstances. In this exposition, I will discuss voluntary Euthanasia by listing pros and cons, and giving a final conclusive opinion.

The main objective of voluntary euthanasia societies throughout the world is to change this position. They seek the legal right to a hastened death as an option of last resort in medical practice for those suffering with no hope of relief except in death.

Western culture is essentially death-denying. There is a reluctance to discuss death on the part of both patients and doctors and it is often not easy for the approach of death to be explored. Legal prohibition on giving active help to die inhibits the doctor-patient relationship at a time when the patient is most in need of openness, acceptance and reassurance. The inhibition also affects open debate of euthanasia among doctors. Despite increasing readiness to engage in debate, it is still regarded as professionally unwise to indicate support for voluntary euthanasia. Due to this, many people are still perfectly clear on the definitions of key terms in relation to this debate. I will clarify:

Euthanasia. From the Greek, meaning "good death"; a death which...