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Assisted suicide, also called euthanasia (originated from the Greek, eu, meaning “good, and thanatos, meaning “death”)( No Author, http:// www.religious tolerance.org), is the act of assisting a person who wants to die. That person may want to die for a multitude of reasons, be it because of a terminal illness, extreme pain and suffering, or because of an illness that will leave the person with some extremely diminished capacity. This topic has become one of great controversy as of late, with the prevalence of the HIV virus, the virus that causes AIDS, as well as the increase of debilitating diseases like Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. This paper will touch on many points of the issue of euthanasia, as well as a defender of it. At the end of this paper, it will be plain to see by any open-minded individual that euthanasia should be legal.
There are several forms of euthanasia. First, there is voluntary (or active) euthanasia. This means that a competent person makes a voluntary request, without changing their mind, to be helped to die. A popular example of voluntary euthanasia was the assisted killing of a patient with ALS by Dr. Jack Kevorkian in 1998. Dr. Kevorkian’s patient was terrified of the advancing illness, and of dying a painful and horrible death in the near future. The patient had Dr. Kevorkian inject him with a series of controlled substances, which caused the patient’s death ( No Author, http://www.religioustolerance.org).
There is also non-voluntary (or passive) euthanasia, in which case the patient is not able to express the wish, either by incompetence or the incapacity to do so. This is usually fairly simple, such as removing life support, stopping emergency medical procedures, not feeding the patient, causing death, or not delivering CPR when the patient has stopped breathing or the heart has stopped.
The third type is involuntary euthanasia. This is when a competent patient is allowe...