Right to Die
The “Right to Die” is commonly associated with the practice of physician-assisted suicide. Euthanasia, living wills, and power of attorneys are also considered in the debate on a patient’s right to die. Patients deemed terminally or incurably ill should be given the “Right to Die.” The Netherlands and Belgium are the only countries that have “Right to Die” laws in practice. Many US States such as, Michigan and Vermont have tried to pass a law, but have failed. Oregon is the only country in the US that has a “Right to Die” law in order.
Our country was founded on the political expression of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” which basically means that no one needs permission to live. What if the patient cannot obtain their pursuit of happiness due to an incurable illness? As Americans, we have a Constitutional right to make decisions regarding our bodies and way of life. When a person is in chronic pain and/or suffering from an incurable illness, they should have the right to decide to end the pain and suffering. Ron Nelson, an activist on the subject, wrote: “If there are any fundamental rights, they certainly must include the decision of when and if a person has decided the quality of their life is no longer worth continuing and wishes to end their own human experience.”
In an article in the L.A. Times, the writer (unknown) states, “So, for both patients and their loved ones, real decisions are demanded: When do we stop doing all that we can do? When do we withhold which therapies and allow nature to take its course? When are we, through our own indecision and fears of mortality, allowing wondrous medical methods to perversely prolong the dying rather than the living?” In order for “Right to Die” to be used without abuse, strict guidelines and laws would need to be in place. If an incurably ill patient should be found competent, the right should be upheld. If a patient has been in a vegetative state, such that of the case of Terry...