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Social Values and the Issue of Euthanasia

Uploaded by srheric on Apr 23, 2007

Social Values and the Issue of Euthanasia

The word "euthanasia" comes from two Greek roots meaning "good death" or "mercy killing." If you're like most Americans, you've probably heard that the purpose of euthanasia is to "relieve the suffering of the terminally ill." Although this is the modern connotation of the word fostered by pro-euthanasia, there is actually a much deeper meaning. Euthanasia isn't meant to put an end to useless suffering, it's a way of putting an end to useless people.

Euthanasia as "mercy killing" isn't a new concept, but it wasn't long ago that mercy had nothing to do with euthanasia in the minds of the majority of its proponents, who saw it as a method to "improve the human race" by eliminating its weakest elements. This theory, called social Darwinism, states "it is the duty of the strong not to help the weak, but to destroy them".

Setting aside the concept of "easy death" for a moment, the problem with euthanasia is this--where do you draw the line? Once you've convinced yourself that it's "okay" to terminate the life of a person suffering from a debilitating illness, it becomes much easier to accept euthanasia as a general "solution" to the world's problems of overcrowding, hunger, and poverty.

The argument that voluntary euthanasia is a "personal choice" that only affects one person is a sham. In the first place, the majority of people who say they want to commit suicide are generally seeking some sort of help for a problem they're experiencing, either mental or physical; when offered true assistance the desire to terminate their own life diminishes rapidly. In the second place, very few people lead lives in complete isolation from everyone else--someone is always adversely affected when a friend or family member takes his or her own life.

A few years back, my family went through the same turmoil of Accepting a relative’s desire to take his own life. In this case it was my grandfather who was very ill at that time. My grandmother had died and grandpa was living on His own away from us. We went visit him occasionally. Frankly we had no time to be with him to give him company. He was old, isolated, and lonely. Looking Back I can see how he felt for not being useful and wanted. So...

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Uploaded by:   srheric

Date:   04/23/2007

Category:   Social Issues

Length:   3 pages (585 words)

Views:   4544

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