Eric Bancroft Bancroft 1
23 March 2010
Euthanasia: The Right for the Right to Die
Euthanasia has a long and complicated history. Throughout time euthanasia's legality and morality has been questioned. "The term, 'Euthanasia' comes from the Greek words eu meaning God, and thanatos meaning death."(Sandhyarani) and is usually associated with assisted suicide or mercy killing. Euthanasia has been around for awhile and has been used rather commonly.
The Roman's and Greek's believed that, "Ã¢ÂÂ¦there is no need to preserve the life of a person who has no interest in living." (Sandhyarani). Hippocrates, who opposed the Roman and Greek opinion of Euthanasia, has a famous quote stating, "I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel". Keep in mind that this was around 400 B.C. so the laws and government wasn't quite as sophisticated as it is now, much like the western frontier of the United States in the late 19th century.
In 400 B.C. medicinal practices would seem like torture today, the people that underwent euthanasia back then no doubt suffered a great amount. Many people were given poison to ingest, which would essentially eat and dissolve their organs.
During the 1300's England considered suicide and any assistance of another's suicide a crime and was punishable. The first actual law passed to illegalize euthanasia was in 1828, in New York. Many religious groups and other organizations were pleased with the passing of this law because they had been trying for some time to stop euthanasia which they believe to be on the same level with murder. Now there are two main types of euthanasia, voluntary and non-voluntary, it's kind of self-explanatory but voluntary involves having the persons consent and non-voluntary involves killing the person without consent.