English 2010 spring semester 2014 position argument euthanasia
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ENGLISH 2010 SPRING SEMESTER 2014 POSITION ARGUMENT: Euthanasia - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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ENGLISH 2010 SPRING SEMESTER 2014 POSITION ARGUMENT: Euthanasia. Haley McIntosh SLCC 2014.

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Haley McIntosh

SLCC 2014

  • Euthanasia (sometimes referred to as “assisted suicide”) is a controversial topic. Some people believe that euthanasia isn’t morally or ethically right. But is it? People should be able to have the choice to live or to die. For example, if an illness is taking away your dignity, leaving you with no quality of life, shouldn’t you have the choice? I believe involuntary and/or voluntary euthanasia should be legalized. People should be able to turn to a painless and merciful death. It should be a medical choice. I want to educate my peers on the different types of euthanasia, pros & cons, and how it improves the quality of life of people.

Definition of key term (s) What is Euthanasia?

  • The medical term for Euthanasia:”the act or practice of killing hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy; also: the act or practice of allowing a hopelessly sick or injured patient to die by taking less than complete medical measures to prolong life—called also mercy killing” (Merriam-Webster).

Types of Euthanasia 

  • Active Euthanasia

  • Passive euthanasia

  • Voluntary Euthanasia

  • Involuntary

Active euthanasia

  • Active Euthanasia is when a medical professional or doctor actively ends a persons life. Usually when someone requests to end their life over and over again. The doctor will usually do it IF the person is suffering from an illness that is reducing their quality of life (BBC).

Passive euthanasia

  • Passive Euthanasia is when they allow one to die by withholding medical care (BBC).

    “For example, if a patient requires kidney dialysis to survive, and the doctors disconnect the dialysis machine, the patient will presumably die fairly soon. Perhaps the classic example of passive euthanasia is a "do not resuscitate order". Normally if a patient has a heart attack or similar sudden interruption in life functions, medical staff will attempt to revive them. If they make no such effort but simply stand and watch as the patient dies” (Pregnant Pause).

Voluntary euthanasia

  • Voluntary Euthanasia occurs when someone decides they do not want to live or having a life-saving treatment stopped and they understand that this will kill them (BBC).

Involuntary euthanasia

  • Involuntary Euthanasia occurs when one is unresponsive or unconscious and cannot make the decision to live or to die. The family decides for them (BBC).

where is it legalized?

Euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, Germany, Albania, Colombia, and Japan.

Assisted suicide is legal in Washington, Oregon, Vermont, and Montana.

Pros and Cons

  • Mercy killing is not morally correct

  • It’s against your religious means

  • Medical decline

  • It improves quality of life

  • Right to die

  • Don’t have to suffer anymore

Does it really Improve quality of life?

  • According to author Terry Pratchett, after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, he became pro assisted dying he said:

    “As I have said, I would like to die peacefully with Thomas Tallison my iPod before the disease takes me over and I hope that will not be for quite sometime to come, because if I knew that I could die at any time I wanted, then suddenly every day would be as precious as a million pounds. If I knew that I could die, I would live. My life, my death, my choice.” (Morris M.)

    Terry Pratchett shows that it does improve his quality of life because if you do have the choice to live or die, most people would want to live. People often change their minds because…..


Congress, both state and federal, need to reconsider this an option. IF abortion is legal and people are aloud to end ones life, when they have no say to make that decision on their own, then why can’t people make their own choice to live or die when they already live on this earth?

In David L. Bender’s book, Should Euthanasia be allowed, he stated a good point:

“In America we perform abortions, execute murders and draft young me so they may be slain for their country. But mention the subject of euthanasia and people start to get a little crazy.”

Should it be legalized?

Why it should not be legalized?

  • The three main benefits of legalizing euthanasia would help people realize autonomy (the right to self-govern), reducing unwanted pain, and it would give psychological reassurance of the dying patient (Emanual, Pg. 630-631).


  • I believe when someone is in a vegetated state, they should have the right to die. Involuntary and/or voluntary Euthanasia should be an option to one. Family members and physicians need to ask themselves is it right to keep them alive when they are physically there but not mentally? Or when someone is ill and they aren’t living the life they wanted. They aren’t experiencing the quality of life anymore. So the question is, is it morally and ethically right to be keeping them alive? It is still a hard subject to come by but we need to respect the CHOICE of others about if they want to live or die or even if they don’t have the CHOICE to make the decision.

Works Cited 

BBC. Forms of Euthanasia. 2014. Web. http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/euthanasia/overview/forms.shtml

Emanuel, Ezekiel J. What Is the Great Benefit of Legalizing Euthanasia or Physican‐Assisted Suicide?. The University of Chicago Press. Ethics, Vol. 109, No.3 (April 1999), pp. 629-642. Web. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/233925

Merriam-webster. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/euthanasia

Morris M. 10 Arguments of Legalizing Euthanasia. Listverse politics. http://listverse.com/2013/09/12/10-arguments-for-legalising-euthanasia/#

Pregnant Pause. Types of Euthanasia. Nov. 2001. Web. http://www.pregnantpause.org/euth/types.htm

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