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Euthanasia

Essay by 24  •  September 23, 2010  •  902 Words (4 Pages)  •  919 Views

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Thomas Jefferson once said, "The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government."(Euthanasia). Euthanasia is related to this because it is the destruction of human life, and in today's society, medications can alleviate pain, a request for euthanasia is typically a cry for help, and suicide is typically transient. So therefore, there is no reason why euthanasia should be legalized.

With today's modern technology, euthanasia being an escape from pain is a poor argument for euthanasia advocates. Modern medicines have the ability to control mild to extreme pain. From over the counter drugs such as Aspirin, Tylenol and Advil, to common narcotics such as Morphine, Codeine and Oxycodone. All of these medications, some better than others, work towards the same goal of alleviating pain. However, if the pain starts at a nerve, the narcotics and other drugs are less effective and a nerve block must be performed. This is when, similar to the dentist, an anaesthetic is injected into the area around the nerve, preventing pain impulses from the nerve being delivered to the brain or spinal cord. The narcotics work in a slightly different way. For example, Codeine alters your perception of pain and reaction to it by acting on your central nervous system. Morphine "scrambles" pain messages in your spinal cord and brain, and Oxycodone works on your central nervous system by altering your sense of pain and your emotional response to it. People seeking to kill themselves to avoid pain do not need legalized euthanasia, but a doctor better trained in alleviating pain (Choosing).

A request for assisted suicide by terminally ill patients is typically a cry for help. Many people who ask for assisted suicide, actually most of them, have clinical depression. In fact, in one study, of the 24 percent of terminally ill patients who requested death, all had clinical depression (Euthanasia). Not only were most depressed, but they feared becoming a burden on their family and healthcare workers (Caring). Now with these 24 percent in mind, try and imagine your self with a life or death decision that you could not make for yourself, would you want one of those terminally ill, clinically depressed patients to decide for you? Most of you would say no. But if they are not competent enough to make the choice on your behalf, what makes them competent enough to make that same decision for themselves? In a euthanasia case, the state of Alaska said, "The terminally ill are a class of persons who need protection from family, social, and economic pressures, and who are often particularly vulnerable to such pressures because of chronic pain, depression, and the effects of medication." (Euthanasia). A terminally ill patient is not in any state to make such a crucial decision for themselves.

For people who are stopped from committing suicide, a positive life with many changes can lie ahead. In a study off 886 people who were stopped from committing suicide, only 4 % went on to kill themselves within the next 5 years. Within the next 35 years, only 11% had gone on to kill themselves (Euthanasia). Relating this to euthanasia, since it is similar to suicide, not legalizing

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