Essay by clmalfUniversity, Bachelor'sA, April 2004

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When most people think of euthanasia they think simply of death.

Webster's Dictionary defines it as: the deliberate, painless killing of persons

who suffer from a painful and incurable disease or condition, or who are aged

and helpless. This "easy death," is often criticized by those with different

religious beliefs, the media and misinformation.

What would one do if their loved one was laying in a hospital bed,

suffering from an incurable illness and there was nothing that could be done

for them. The medication from the doctors is beginning to wear off and the

pain is unbearable. The expression on their face tells it all. There is nothing

that can be done, except for giving them a higher dosage of medication.

Shouldn't that person have the right to end their own life? Do we have a

fundamental and constitutional right of self determination? Was the esteemed

Judge Benjamin Cardozo right when he wrote, in 1914, that "every human

being of adult years and sound mind has a right to determine what shall be

done with his own body?" ( Lessenberry 91).

Euthanasia should be an acceptable practice when someone has been

diagnosed with a terminal illness and there is no chance for a decent quality

of life. When someone's dog is cancer ridden and is in a lot of pain they are

advised by a veterinarian (animal doctor) to put it out of its misery, but when

it's a human being in the same situation it's illegal. However nothing is ever as

easy as it seems and as there is much more to the fighting argument.

Euthanasia has been accepted legally and ethically in various forms in

many societies. In ancient Greece and Rome it was permissible in certain

situations to help others die. "Some physicians may have preferred...