Story last updated at 4/16/2014 - 4:16 pm
Did you know that the average amount of terminally ill patients who die in pain is 55 percent? That's a little over half. Euthanasia can help these patients end their lives without suffering great pain. Euthanasia, also known as assisted suicide, comes from Greek roots and means "good death."
I believe euthanasia should be legalized in all countries. Euthanasia allows people to die without suffering.
Stephen Hawking, an English theoretical physicist and author, has Motor Neuron Disease and has lost almost all movement of his body. He has strong opinions on the topic of assisted suicide. Hawking says, "We don't let animals suffer, so why should we let humans?"
Allowing euthanasia to be legalized would help a lot of terminally ill people. If those people wanted to end their lives and not suffer through great pain just so they could die anyway, then they should have the right to make that decision.
Not only would euthanasia allow people to die without suffering, but it is also proven that it does not harm society. Supporters of the assisted suicide act in the Netherlands see their law as humane, because it allows people to die without suffering and with dignity when there is no hope for recovery. Even though family members are losing a loved one and it will affect their family, it won't stay like that for long. There should be a time for grieving and honoring our loved ones.
It will affect doctors who administer the lethal concoction of drugs to the patients, just like it affects the vets who do the same to animals. My solution is that doctors should get higher pay for what they have to do and they should go through a course in college teaching them how to deal with the loss of the humans they gave the drug to.
Not only is euthanasia proven not to harm society, but also it's a patient's right to make decisions about medical care. Patients should also be allowed hospice care and the option of assisted suicide. In medicine for the extremely ill, prolonged life is often our foremost objective. We ask people to endure extreme discomfort in the interest of potential recovery.
In hospice care, doctors acknowledge that they cannot affect the overall outcome of a patient's disease or the prolonged life of the patient. In giving the terminally ill patient the choice of either hospice care or assisted suicide, then we are basically letting them take their life into their own hands. This way, the terminally ill will be able to choose to either end their suffering by death or by using medication to prolong their life and live just a little longer.
It is true that doctors and family members will be affected by the legalization of euthanasia. Also, some doctors won't be able to administer the drug to humans. There is also a chance people could start illegally using euthanasia. Finally, terminally ill people could in some situations choose assisted suicide and not get to live their lives fully. Despite these concerns, there are many reasons to support the legalization of euthanasia.
The legalization of assisted suicide would be a great thing for the world. First of all, it would allow people to die without suffering. Also, it has been proven not to harm society and the loved ones of the terminally ill who choose assisted suicide. Finally, I believe all patients eligible for assisted suicide should have access to hospice care and the choice of assisted suicide. Hawking says, "I think those who have a terminal illness and are in great pain should have the right to choose to end their lives and those who help them should be free of prosecution."
My final question for you is if we put down an animal and that's considered humane, then why is doing the same for humans considered a horrible thing? Is letting someone you love suffer every day just so they can be with you worth it?
Editor's Note: This is the fourth in a series of 10 essays that will be running weekly in the Capital City Weekly. Each year for the past 10, students at Floyd Dryden Middle School compose, edit and pick editorial essays for publication in the CCW. Essays are picked by a student editorial board, and the Capital City Weekly is pleased to donate space for these young writers. The students who served on the editorial board are Andyn Mulgrew-Truitt (Editorial Board Leader), Gabrielle Scales (Editorial Board Leader), Cassie Dzinich, Matthew Edwards, Mason Fowler, Janessa Goodman, Taia Hadfield, Dang Xue Loseby, Luis Medrano, Cierra McCain, Emily Mossberg, Gray Price, Maxie Saceda-Hurt, Abby Schmidt, Anthony Simpson, Colton Tersteeg, Jillian Tracy and Kasey Watts. The Capital City Weekly does not advocate or oppose the opinions expressed here.