Brittany Maynard's Argumentative Essay: A Right To Die

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A “Right to Die”
Every day, individuals pass away from unbearable illnesses. On November 1, 2014, the world lost a very bright, generous, compassionate, and curious individual named Brittany Maynard. She was not just another citizen, and here is why. This past year, on New Year’s Day, Maynard was diagnosed with brain cancer. She was given a terminal diagnosis for which there were no saving measures available. In light of this diagnosis, she decided to end her life by using a lethal prescription provided by her doctor. As a result of Maynard’s advocacy for dying with dignity, the issue of physician-assisted death quickly resurfaced as a controversial topic of discussion. Was her decision to end her life ethically justifiable? Should individuals …show more content…

In modern times, the topic of physician-assisted death has gained prominence in the United States in part to the publicized deaths assisted by Dr. Jack Kevorkian. He was a doctor in the 1980’s who allowed over 130 of his patients commit suicide when they found it to be appropriate. Additionally, physician-assisted suicide has come to the forefront of discussion as a result of general concerns about suffering painful, slow and undignified deaths under a medical care system that is able to extend dying, but not necessarily living. What exactly is physician-assisted suicide? Often referred to as a person’s right to die, assisted suicide is simply death assisted by another person, particularly a medical professional. Assisted death is a version of voluntary active euthanasia, which is different from the withdrawal of life-support, a passive type of euthanasia. The health professional prescribes the terminally ill patient a medication that will allow them to end their life immediately in an environment chosen by them. To date, physician-assisted suicide is legal in Vermont, Montana, Oregon and Washington and other places around the world. Concerning the debate over this issue, some individuals believe that patients considered to be terminally ill or in extreme pain have the right to decide their death, and in doing so, receive the help of a doctor. On the contrary, others argue that patients should not be allowed to choose death with the help of a health

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