Euthanasia

Gretchen Braun, Staff Writer

On November 1, 2014, Brittany Maynard decided to use her “Death with Dignity act” to end her own life. Maynard had terminal brain cancer and was given six months to live when diagnosed. She planned to take the pills that would end her life after her wedding anniversary in October. She moved to Oregon, one of the five states that legally allows assisted suicide, and finished out her life in a beautiful yellow house in Portland.

There is a lot of controversy over the “Death with Dignity act” and many feel it is not morally right. To be eligible for the act you must be over 18, be able to make conscious decisions, live in Oregon, New Mexico, Montana, Vermont, or Washington, and have a terminal illness that will end your life within six months. Those who have chosen to end their life this way feel that it is their right to be able to end their lives in peace and not to suffer in the last few moments of life.

My personal opinion on the subject is that everybody should have a choice to not suffer before they die. There really is no point in staying alive an extra couple of weeks just to be feeling pain all day and not being able to enjoy life. You do not have to agree with their choice but in the end it is not your life and you are not the one suffering.

Very few countries have legalized euthanasia and I wonder why that is. To me it seems inhumane to make a person suffer just to be able to say they lived longer. Life should not have to be filled with pain and it seems pointless to live if you are suffering on a day-to-day basis with a terminal illness that will kill you anyway.

It is not like you have any chance of survival with the illnesses that allow euthanasia. So why prevent someone from choosing to not suffer any longer? Yes, either way induced or natural, death is a tragedy, but to have to die in such an awful way is not ok. With a terminal illness death is inevitable, so to force someone to stay alive is cruel.

Some of the arguments for anti-euthanasia include statements such as “it weakens society’s respect for the sanctity of life”. Or that it prevents doctors from doing their job and saving lives, which I truly don’t understand because the patient is only given months to live anyway.

Just think about the true problem here. Think about each individual life instead of the whole. To be able to ensure your loved ones get to make choices about how they live or die should not have to be a huge fight as it is for those right now.