Killing Them Softly

Essay by mrsdeviousCollege, UndergraduateB, September 2008

download word file, 5 pages 0.0

Euthanasia is defined in The American Heritage Dictionary as the act of ending the life of a person for reasons of mercy (The American Heritage Dictionary). The Hemlock Society defines it as justifiable suicide, that is rational and planned self-deliverance (Humphrey). According to the word euthanasia is, "also called mercy killing, the act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, as by withholding extreme medical measures, a person or animal suffering from an incurable, especially a painful, disease or condition" ( No matter what your definition, euthanasia is ethical, and physicians should be allowed to assist in it legally. It would be more humane to let terminally ill individuals be allowed to choose the manner of their own end and die with dignity. Legalizing Physician Assisted Suicide would enable this to happen.

People usually think of ethical as being in accordance with the accepted principals that govern the conduct of a group, especially of a profession (The American Heritage Dictionary).

However, is it ethical to force a person with a terminal illness to suffer when there is no need? No, it is not. But, euthanasia is morally correct. Suicide can be justified ethically when and if a terminal illness is causing unbearable suffering and is at an advanced stage. It can also be justified ethically if a horrible physical handicap is so restricting, that even after due consideration and training it remains an intolerable existence. But, some fine print on the subject does exist. "In order to make the choice ethical you must be a mature adult," says Derek Humphry, author of 1991 bestseller, Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for The Dying. "People must consider the decision very wisely. This cannot be a hasty act. And last, they should attempt medical treatment...