Human euthanasia gives people one final choice

Mason Hedge, News Editor

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A terminal illness can be defined as “a disease that is incurable and usually results in the death of the patient diagnosed with it.” With that definition in mind, being diagnosed with a terminal illness sounds like utter torture. This is where physician-assisted suicide, otherwise known as human euthanasia, comes into play.

Human euthanasia can be a very touchy subject. If someone has a terminal illness and is expected to die, with the help of a physician, that person could be put to rest peacefully.

Ever since this option became available to the public, controversy sparked throughout the nation. However, peacefully dying after being diagnosed with a terminal illness sounds a lot better than having to live each day with agonizing pain, waiting until the illness kills their victim.

To get a better understanding of human euthanasia, seven states (California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana, Oregon, Vermont and Washington) and Washington D.C. have already passed laws that allow it. With these laws come requirements. In order for human euthanasia to take place in these states, the patient must have a life expectancy of six months or less, must be 18 or older, have a declared residency in that state and must have one written request along with two oral requests. Both oral requests must be at least 15 days apart.

With these legal requirements in place, it could be very hard for human euthanasia to be put into effect with a patient. Therefore, if a terminally-ill patient wants to die and they do not meet the requirements, human euthanasia would not be a possibility for the patient. It’s nice to have these limitations because without them, the situation would be a lot worse and more controversy would erupt than there already is.

Another positive about human euthanasia is that, without it, the patient may never have a peaceful death that they desire. Some need to realize that even if euthanization was an option, not every single patient with a terminal illness would want to take the opportunity However, if euthanization wasn’t an option for a patient and they did want to be given the opportunity, the patient would live out the rest of its life suffering when they could have died in a more peaceful way.

Stories of this exist all over the world. A man by the name of Noel Conway who lives in the United Kingdom was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). His life expectancy was about five years, so when his fifth year was coming up, he knew his life was coming to an end. However, in the UK, human euthanasia is not legal. He has been trying to fight against the politics ever since.

“I strongly believe that we should all have the right to control our lives and especially the means and manner of our death,” Conway said.

In the end, while the actual definition of human euthanasia seems intimidating and gloomy, it is a good decision for a person with a terminal illness to make. It may be very depressing to see someone die after they realized they had a terminal illness, but after knowing that a loved one would be in pain if they wouldn’t have taken the option, it’s relieving to know that they are no longer suffering and that they are in a better place.