The Controversy Surrounding Euthanasia

Essay by qbanboy14College, UndergraduateA, April 2007

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"Maybe it would have been best if she had died at night" (Busalacchi 62; Gibbs 62). There are not the words you would ever expect a doting father to use when he speaks of a beloved daughter. Yet they are the words Pete Busalachhi used when describing his daughter to Time magazine in 1990. Most fathers would be shocked at the very idea of Pete's statement, and most could never imagine those words ever rolling from their tongues. But most fathers have never had the endure the "34-month funeral" that Pete Busalachhi has lived ever since an automobile accident robbed daughter Christine of all but the barest signs of life (62; Gibbs 62). With no hope of recovery, Christine now exists only in a vegetable state, caught somewhere in the gray area between life and death and kept by artificial support.

Pete Busalachhi happened to talk to Time Magazine on that day in 1990 because his daughter happened to share the same floor in the same Missouri rehabilitation center as Nancy Cruzan, a patient who had suffered much the same fate as Christine.

Nancy was a young and vibrant 25 when an ice storm totaled her mental capabilities as well as her car, and her parents had spent the seven years since the accident watching their motionless daughter endure a living death. Knowing she would recover and also knowing that Nancy would not want to exist as she was, they petitioned the courts for legal permission to remove her from the feeding tube that kept her alive. They were granted this authority by Missouri judge of the lower courts, but soon after the ruling the Missouri Supreme Court stepped in and reversed the ruling on the grounds that it violated statutes that guaranteed the protection of "the sanctity of life"...