Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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DYING WITH DIGNITY AND WHY EUTHANASIA SHOULD BE EVERY AMERICANS RIGHT Life can sometimes seem as though it unbearable. Terminal illness and fatal accidents can cause incurable suffering and in turn cause people to want to end it all, euthanasia. Euthanasia comes from the Greek word for good and death. Euthanasia is more commonly known as mercy killing (Thomasma 430). Euthanasia will help end a person's life with dignity, when he is faced with a terminal illness or fatal accident that has caused him to have unbearable pain and suffering.

Some people feel that this decision should be left to the family if the patient is no longer capable of expressing his or her wishes (Thomasma 61).

The families tend to feel as if the pain is too much for their relative. These families believe that their relatives have a right to die (McCuen 421). In this case the families usually turn to either active or passive euthanasia.

Letting nature take its course by altering some form of support is passive euthanasia (Robinson 2). When letting nature take its course doctors could remove life support equipment, stop medical procedures, stop medications, cease to give food and water, or not delivering CPR and allowing a person, whose heart has stopped to die (Robinson 2). Passive euthanasia can also take place when a patient is given a large does of some kind of pain killer. This would more than likely suppress respiration and cause death earlier. Six percent of doctors reported that they had helped a patient hasten his or her death by administering a lethal injection or prescribing a fetal dose of pain killers (Beauchamp). In most cases passive euthanasia is used on people with Persistent Vegetative State, where individuals with massive brain damage who are in a coma from which...