Today there are five to ten thousand comatose patients in long term care facilities (Wheeler A1). There are countless elderly people in care facilities that have repeatedly expressed a desire to die. There are countless terminally ill patients that have also begged for death. Should these people be allowed to die, or should they be forced to keep on living? This question has plagued ethicists and physicians throughout the years.
In the Netherlands, courts have begun to permit the administration of lethal injections to terminally ill patients (Jacoby 101). To many people, this is a barbaric practice. To others, it is the only humane thing to do. When a person is dying of a terminal illness with no hope of recovery, that person should be allowed to die if they wish. Deliberately keeping them alive to endure the pain and suffering of their illness is the barbaric practice. If they wish death, death should be given to them.
Activists for the "Right to Life" don't stop to consider the right to die. I believe that the Right to Die is as sacred a right as the Right to Life. People who believe in the Right to Die are not alone. The Hemlock Society, which advocates the right to die for terminally ill patients claims to have 28,000 members in forty chapters nationwide (Derr 3).
One of the controversies over the right to die is: who should choose? If the patient is comatose or is unable to make rational judgements, should the doctor or a family member be permitted to make the final decision? If family members were allowed to make the decision Right to Life advocates claim, a family member could get away with the murder of a relative just because that person can't make up their...