Euthanasia: a seemingly morbid topic simply deemed as “putting down” the sick as if they’re old dogs. However, this medical practice is less cynical than it appears. It’s not “pulling the plug,” on the ill, it’s relieving excruciating suffering at the will of the patient. Passive Euthanasia and Active Euthanasia, assisted suicide, should be legalized across the U.S. to help those in agony.
Currently, eight U.S. states offer this practice: New Jersey, California, Maine, Hawaii, Colorado, Vermont, Oregon, and Washington. Here, a doctor may perform Active Euthanasia by administering a lethal injection to a patient who’s been diagnosed with 6 or fewer months to live. Although a start, patients should have this option throughout the U.S. Ultimately, what is America founded on if not freedom? Dr. Pereira, a researcher from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, made notice that “the right to die” in the fourteenth amendment applies to Passive Euthanasia, or refusing medical treatment.
As reported by The New York Times, Vincent Lambert was the center of a “right to die” case. Kept alive with immense brain damage, “he had clearly stated that he would not wish to live in a vegetative state,” but his request was not met for years. Lambert was denied euthanasia, regardless of his previous desire, and his family advocating for him. Once the case was won, and his treatment was terminated, he was alleviated from his suffering, and his family stated, “‘It is a real relief for [them,]…Vincent had been the victim of irrational medicine for years. It had to stop.’”
Lambert’s family illustrated that not only is the patient tortured, but families as well. They watch their loved one in unbearable pain, and spend mass amounts of money, on average $25,000 in two months of treatment when this isn’t even the patient’s preference. A team of Medical Professionals from Keele University dictated that a patient should have the right to choose their fate when their “quality of life is so poor that life will be worse for them than death.”
Furthermore, Euthanasia being an option, does not mean it is a must. According to Muslim, Jewish, and Christian faiths, every person is gifted with life, and only G-d may take that away. But, how can one celebrate and cherish the gift and “value” of life if their last moments are spent in anguish? Moreover, if a patient is against Euthanasia due to religious beliefs, they may choose to continue their treatment if desired. Euthanasia is not forced onto patients, it is merely an option.
Without the option of Euthanasia, those with chronic illness are forced to spend their remaining moments in agony. They deserve a choice.