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The Right to Die - Euthanasia

            The Right to Die: The Legalization of Euthanasia .
             Christiaan Barnard, a South African cardiac surgeon, once said, "I have never seen any nobility in a patient's thrashing around all night in a sweat-soaked bed, trying to escape from the pain that torments him day and night" (Walker 18). Should an individual with an illness and no hope of returning to a normal life be kept alive against his or her wishes? In the final phases of a disease, a patient's life quality may decline, and he or she may be awfully miserable until death. "The idea of euthanasia is the concept of respecting the sanctity of life so much that a quick death may be a better alternative than living in a devalued state" (Frost-Knappman 243). A survey was sent to students at Lexington High School, and an overwhelming amount of students agreed with the underlying principle of euthanasia: that people have the right to choose when they die (Berke v). "The Right to Die" movement is influenced by cases that look at the rights of a person in America to die the way he or she wishes, regardless of loved ones and caregivers' desires to protect that person. Notably, the Karen Ann Quinlan, Theresa Schiavo, and numerous other cases have become templates of reasoning for the practice of euthanasia in the United States. .
             History of Euthanasia.
             The "The Right to Die" movement is not something students typically learn about in history class. "It is an underlying historical issue that has been building since the 1800s." New York State passed a statute in 1828 and was the first state to outlaw any form of assisted suicide (Campo-Flores 50). In 1912, one of the first "Right To Die" cases was recorded in the article "When Ought We Kill The Sick?" in the Salt Lake City Tribune. Mrs. Sarah Harris, age thirty-five, had three children and lived in New York and was unable to return to a normal life.

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