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Right to Die

About Right to Die

Parents of Terminally-Ill Charlie GardIn the context of health care, physician-assisted suicidede notes an established process guided by strict legal requirements in which a terminally ill patient requests and receives lethal doses of medication. More generally, the term assisted suicide may refer to any circumstance in which a person intentionally provides someone with the means to end his or her life. The process of euthanasia requires active involvement in administering a life-ending intervention. While physician-assisted suicide is permitted in some US jurisdictions, euthanasia is considered a form of homicide and remains uniformly illegal in the United States. (Opposing Viewpoints)

Narrow the Topic

  • Is euthanasia ethical?
  • Is "terminal sedation" slow euthanasia?
  • Should euthanasia be a personal decision  or should it be regulated by the government?
  • Will legalized euthanasia lead to a rise in involuntary cases?
  • What burdens does a terminal illness place on families?
  • Would improved pain management techniques reduce requests for assisted suicides?
  • Is terminal care bankrupting the health care system?
  • Can medical technology prolong life past the point at which life can be considered worth living?
  • Who should make decisions about terminally ill patients—the patient, the doctor, or the family?
  • Research specific legal cases of euthanasia such as Karen Quinlan (1976-1985), Nancy Cruzan (1990), Terri Schiavo (2005) or the work of Dr. Jack Kevorkian.
  • Research Oregon's Death with Dignity Act.