Euthanasia
Over the years, the practice of physician assisted suicide, affectionately know
as euthanasia, has evolved into one of the biggest social issues in the United

States and the World. There have been many controversies over whether or not
euthanasia is justified. In some places in the United States, euthanasia is
considered murder (Jussim 47). It is then treated as a murder case and murder
penalties are used. There has been a whole change in euthanasia over the
centuries, but it still serves the same purpose. Euthanasia or assisted suicide
in Greek means "easy death". When broken down, it means the process of
one being euthanized, which means to kill without pain. The process of
euthanasia has actually been practiced for thousands of years, rooting all the
way back to the ancient Egyptians. They practiced euthanasia in all sorts of
ways. A good example of this is when somebody was suffering from a terminal
disease or a gaping, festering wound, or even when an appendage or limb was
severed off they would put the victim to sleep using a natural poison called
ether. Using a rod, they pulled the victims brain out through the nose, killing
the victim (Jussim 53). Euthanasia was then brought up again in the medieval
times. When the person was ill with any type of disease that could not be
treated, or what is called a terminal illness, a poison was put in the cup of
the victim. The victim would then administer the drug himself, clearing the
person who put the poison in the drink of any wrongdoing. This poison would put
the person to sleep, into a coma. Then, about ten minutes later, a person with a
cover over his head so he could remain anonymous, came in and stabbed the victim
through the heart. The victim supposedly felt no pain (Jussim 61). In the United

States today when somebody wants to use euthanasia as a form of dying, a
physician is called in to administer the drug. Physician aid-in-dying is
assistance by a qualified medical practitioner in implementing a patient's
considered wish to end his or her own life, usually by means of lethal
injection. In the Netherlands, the practice is an injection to render the
patient comatose, followed by a second injection called potassium phosphate. In
cases where the patient takes the lethal drug, currently 10g of pentobarbitone,
the doctor is present in 20% of the cases. However where death does not occur
within 12 hours, the doctor is on hand to administer a second drug to accelerate
death, rather than allowing the patient the indignity of lying in a coma for up
to four days, waiting for death to occur (McCuen 81). Objections that the
legalization of the practice would be open to abuse are not sustained by close
examination of data. Patients are already "eased into death" with
morphine under the euphemistic doctrine of "double effect". Published
figures suggest that ethical criteria in the Netherlands are similar to those
already practiced in the United States. Legal safeguards for the various
situations have been thoroughly prepared by legal researchers in draft
legislation. Trends show that the practice will continue whether or not it is
regulated by the legislation (McCuen 118). Although the possibility of
physician-assisted suicide is welcome news to many people who may be facing the
prospect of an agonizing, humiliating and long drawn out disease while still
having some physical capabilities, it is of little reassurance to someone who is
suffering from a wasting disease. The disease will eventually omit the patients'
ability to commit suicide. Also, death by oral ingestion of drugs is far less
effective than by skillful injection. A doctor on hand can make necessary
adjustments of dosage for the patients' weight, condition, age, and history.

This, in essence, is the Dutch argument, and although drugs are often been made
available for the patient to take orally by his or her own hand, if and when
desired and after due consultation, a physician is generally present to offer
the technical support that a patient has the right to expect (McCuen 112). When
a person is terminally ill, his family might suggest the possibility of
euthanasia, when in fact, the person that is ill can only request it. When a
patient requests euthanasia, the first step is to try to improve palliative care
in hopes that euthanasia might be avoided. The term "palliative care"
means surgery to improve the condition of a disease. If this does not lessen the
emotional or physical discomfort of the patient or his family, doctors then
discuss the option of euthanasia, each