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pope pius Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England.  His father, Frank, was a specialist in tropical medicine, his profession often kept him away from home and family.  Hawkings mother, Isabelle, was a very politically active person, which kept her away from home too.  Even though his parents were gone a lot, they had a big influence on his life.  Hawking always wanted to study mathematics and physics, but his Dad said that mathematics did not have many job opportunities.  He ended up majoring in physics and chemistry.  Another reason he did not take mathematics was because it was not available at Oxford University, his local college.  When he was growing up, he was a self-learner.  His friends did not know how smart he was until his second year of college.  He and his friends were assigned thirteen honors questions in the area of electricity and magnetism.  It took his friends, Derek, Gordan, and Richard, a week to complete two and a half of the problems.  Hawking did the first ten in three hours, he did not complete the others because he said he did not have enough time.  Once, in college, he fell down a flight of stairs.  After he fell down, he could not remember anything, gradually he began remembering, until he remembered it all, which took all of two hours.  Stephen Hawking graduated from Oxford University at the age of twenty in 1962.  He then took a trip to Prussia with a friend.  During the visit, he became ill.  Upon returning to England, he had a series of tests to identify his health problem.  He moved to Cambridge to attend graduate school, which is where he learned that he had Lou Gehrigs disease.  This disease destroys the voluntary muscles, making normal tasks become impossible, such as walking and eating.  Doctors predicted that he had to and a half years to live.  He became depressed at stopped working and going to school.  During this time, he met his future wife, Jane Wilde.  They had three children:  Robert (1967), Lucy (1970), and Timothy (1979).  Meeting Jane, lifted Hawkings spirits so much that he disregarded his illness, returned to work and school.  He did research at Caisus College and studied theoretical physics.  He did this partly because he found elementary particles unattractive and he wanted to study with Fred Hoyle, who was a British astronomer and also a science fiction novelist.  Hawkings research was centered on Black Holes.  Since the 1960s, he has lead the field of scientist in Black Hole research.  One discovery of his was that Black Holes emit radiation.  This radiation is called Hawking Radiation.  In 1974, Hawking was inducted into the Royal Society.  The Royal Societys traditional induction ceremony includes the new members walking on stage and signing a ledger book.  The book itself goes back to the earliest days of society, it even has the signature of Sir Isaac Newton.  The entry of Hawking into the Royal Society is an achievement that will never be forgot by a person who wasnt expected to live after the age of twenty five years old.  Hawking still things this moment was his proudest in his career.  Hawking found he could not feed himself and get in and out of bed that same year.  Jane was finding it too hard to take care of him and three children.  Hawkings hired students to live with them and help his wife.  In 1975, he received the Pius XII medal from Pope Paul VI as a Young Scientist for distinguished work.  There has been a long standing conflict between the Catholic church and physics, going back to Galileo.  When Hawking visited the Vatican, he saw Galileos theory that the earth went around the sun.  Hawking has a great fondness for Galileo as he was born three hundred years to the day after Galileos death.  In 1975, Hawking was elected Lucasion Professor of Mathematics (once held by Isaac Newton).  There is a big book that everyone who holds this title has to sign.  After one year of being Lucasian professor of Mathematics, he had still never signed the book.  So he did and that was the last time he ever signed ... more

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Euthanasia

Euthanasia, formerly know as mercy killing, means intentionally making someone die, rather than allowing them to die naturally. In an online article by the International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force says that euthanasia means killing in the name of compassion.  Euthanasia is one of the most important public policy issues being debated today.  The outcome of that debate will profoundly affect family relationships, interaction between doctors and patients, and concepts of basic morality (Euthanasia: Answers).  Some cases exist in which euthanasia should be allowed, when done under the guidance of a medical doctor.
Euthanasia has become an issue of increasing attention because of Dr. Jack Kevorkians assisted suicides.  Because of an increasing number of assisted suicides in Michigan, Gov. Engler signed an anti-assisted suicide law in September of 1998 that made doctor-assisted suicides a felony.  This law places anyone assisting in a suicide to prison sentence of up to five years and/or fined up to $10,000 (Michigan Governor).  By signing this, Gov. Engler has put a great deal of stress onto some patients who wish to take their lives this way but now have no way of doing it.
With the passing of this law many people thought that most of the population would be against the right-to-die, not so. In a survey that I conducted on the campus of Marshall University on Oct. 22, 1999, 80% of the students that I interviewed think sometimes there are circumstances when a patient should be allowed to die, compared to only 15% think doctors and nurses should always do everything possible to save a persons life.  It also showed that 80% of these students approve of state laws that allow medical care for the terminally ill to be removed or withheld, if the patient wishes, whereas only 13% disapproved of the laws. Also 70% think the family should be allowed to make the decision about treatment on behalf of the patient if they are unable to.  70% think it is justified at least sometimes for a person to kill his or her spouse, if he or she is suffering terrible pain caused by a terminal illness.  Even suicide is starting to be accepted.  About half of those with living parents think their mothers and fathers would want medical treatment stopped if they were suffering a great deal of pain in a terminal disease or if they became totally dependant on a family member (Survey on Euthanasia).  There are some people in this society that feel as if this really isnt a problem, but more of a solution.  If someone wants to end their own life, then who are we to stop them.  With the continuous coverage of Dr. Kevorkian the views of people will continue to change.  Euthanasia will continue to become more of an issue.
As with any issue, each viewpoint is supported by many reasons.  In Euthanasia: Opposing Viewpoints, different writers give forth reasons for both sides of this argument. Those who oppose euthanasia argue that the medical profession must always be on the side of preserving life(24).  Another reason is euthanasia will lead to the devaluation of life (37).  Also they think it will force doctors and family members to judge the value of a patients life.  Critics also say that acceptance will spread from the terminally ill to the less serious ill, the handicapped, or the mentally retarded (117).  One reason that those who favor euthanasia agree upon is that a person has the right to a death with dignity.  Another reason is a person should be allowed a natural death instead of a prolonged death with medical equipment.  Still another reason is that doctors are supposed to ease the pain of people not prolong it (19).
Death is one of the few things that all people have in common.  This means that there is a chance for anyone to face the decision of letting someone go.  Euthanasia should be legalized so people will only have to think about the difficult decision of the present and not about the consequences of the future.
One of the bases people for euthanasia give is, a person has the right to die with dignity.  People should be allowed to control their own deaths.  Why should a patient be forced ... more

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