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Isn’t It Our Choice?

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By: Tatiana Hroncich
Staff Writer

Imagine this: you come home one day to find your parents sitting, their faces grim. As it turns out, your pet was put down just hours before due to old age and their body beginning to shut down. It would be an unfortunate and upsetting event, but it is part of life. Putting down your pet is better than watching them suffer for what time they have left after all. So why isn’t that same concept applied to Human life? It isn’t pleasing to know that someone is suffering, yet the illegalization of Euthanasia on humans contradicts the idea of it. “I personally believe that a person has their own moral right to take their lives – despite of how they do so. That fact that it is illegal irks me because it seems the government may be inhibiting the use of our moral rights,” says sophomore Meaghan Shea.
Euthanasia is the action of taking someone else’s life if they deem that their own life is no longer worth living due to being gravely ill. There are two types of Euthanasia: Passive and Active.
Passive Euthanasia is the withdrawal of treatment of a patient while Active Euthanasia, or “Mercy Killing”, is the means of ending life with the intent to cause the patient’s death in a single action through a lethal injection. Sophomore Uliana Kitar shared her opinion on this: “I believe that Euthanasia should be legal and do not think it is fair that adults don’t have the option, considering it is a conscious, legal decision made by an adult. It could be used to put someone out of suffering. If a person wants to die, they can do it rather easily. With Euthanasia, people can go peacefully and have the opportunity to say goodbye.”
Jack Kevorkian was a doctor who would help patients in assisted-suicides, but was later convicted of second-degree murder and an illegal delivery of a controlled substance. Kevorkian had helped over forty patients end their own lives through a machine he called “Thanatron” (Greek for “Instrument of Death”). The machine first administered saline and after, the patient pushed a button that would release a fast-acting anesthetic drug known as thiopental for 60-seconds, putting the patient in a coma. When the 60-seconds was up, a lethal dose of potassium chloride would stop the heart, causing the patient to have a heart attack in their sleep. Most of Kevorkian’s patients had incurable diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Cancer, and ALS, yet through helping these suffering persons, he was punished. “I think that Euthanization should be legal because it should be up to an individual to decide how they want to live or not. It is not right for the law to decide this type of decision because it is not a black-and-white moral versus nonmoral situation but a personal choice. The government shouldn’t have that much control over the lives of people,” sophomore Brianna Flood commented.
The Death with Dignity act is currently available in four states. What the act states, in a basic understanding, allows a terminally-ill patient to decide whether or not to end their own life. With this foundation slowly spreading, History teacher Mrs.Marcolina said, “As Americans, our Declaration of Independence says that we are entitled to life, liberty, and property…and the pursuit of happiness. I believe life being one of the key things that it’s our duties as Americans to look out for one another. And so with life being written right within our documents, it’s a question that people also need to consider it including the right to death.”

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Isn’t It Our Choice?