Topic Review: Euthanasia

Euthanasia has been a harrowing topic in the medical field for many centuries. It was originally defined by the Greeks in the early 17th century as meaning “easy death,” however, many would argue that death cannot be easy in any respect. When a patient is told that he or she has a terminal illness, it hits them like a wrecking ball, knocking down all that they have known about the world and their life. It is the ultimate shock, a literal death sentence. One can only imagine the anxiety and stress that is put on a person in this situation. The thought of their quality of life is slowly drained from them over a known amount of time must be totally debilitating on a mental, emotional, and physical level.

When a patient with a terminal illness desires to pursue a physician-assisted death, it is a decision that is not made lightly and is heartbreaking for the person, their family, and their friends. There is no easy way to deal with that decision. Euthanasia, allowed in only six states within the United States, must be disappointing for many patients. When a person is told that they only have a few months or years left and know that their quality of life will dwindle down to become miserable, then they should be able to decide how they want to spend the remainder of their time. I believe that if multiple physicians can confirm that a patient’s condition will become unbearably painful and horrible, then that person should have the right to undergo physician-assisted death. Being told that you will die is the scariest thing imaginable and having to experience the extreme pain and not having the ability to enjoy life should be taken into consideration when dealing with these patients’ wishes. Nothing is more important than the quality of life and that should be taken into consideration with the terminally ill. Euthanasia has a negative connotation in modern society, however, thousands of patients are suffering unimaginably and should be able to reserve the right to end their lives in a respectable and controllable manner.

Author: Gregory
Kent School of Podiatric Medicine
Class of 2021

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