Argumentative Essay: The Death With Dignity Act

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The Death with Dignity Act has two arguments: those who believe we have the right to choose how and when we die, and those who believe we do not possess that right; that we should not interfere with the natural order of life. Every year, people across America are diagnosed with a terminal illness. For some people there is time: time to hope for a cure, time to fight the disease, time to pray for a miracle. For others however, there is very little or no time. For these patients, their death is rapidly approaching and for the vast majority of them, it will be a slow and agonizing experience. However, there is hope of a peaceful death for these patients that exists in a controversial law being considered by many states throughout the country. It is known as the Death with Dignity Act. This law gives terminally ill patients the option of ending their own life in a painless manner at a time and place of their choosing by …show more content…

In a close victory, fifty-one percent of the voters voted yes and forty-nine percent opposed the Death with Dignity Act. However, the law was delayed for several years due to an injunction by District Judge Hogan who had ruled that the Oregon Death with Dignity Act violated the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection clause (Legal). The ruling was immediately appealed to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and in 1996 the ban was ruled unconstitutional by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In two related cases at that time, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that assisted suicide was not a Constitutional right, but also that the issue would be best addressed in the “laboratory of the states” which are free to prohibit or legalize physician assisted dying. In 1997, the Oregon Legislative Assembly put Measure 51 on the ballot in an effort to repeal the Death with Dignity Act. This repeal was defeated during the November fourth special election sixty to 40 percent

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