Although we have developed ways that can prolong life, medical professionals are now forced to sustain life for as long as possible. This creates a problem for terminally ill patients who have asked for their right to die. In her essay, A Crime of Compassion, Barbara Huttmann describes the final months of a patient named Mac, as well as the pain and suffering he went through because the doctor refused to write a no-code order. Through the use of diction and tone, Huttmann tries to justify her actions and convince the audience to support her proposal for a new legislation that will allow terminally ill patients to choose to die rather than endure the pain and indignity of their malady.
Throughout her essay, Huttmann uses specific phrases and words to depict the desperation Mac feels when he is repeatedly denied of his request, for instance she says that "Mac was still lucid enough to beg for death again." This portrayal of desperation can be used to invoke a feeling of mercy and anger from the audience for the injustice and agony towards a man who had repeatedly asked to be allowed to die without being resuscitated. An example that demonstrates this tone is "Mercy for God's sake, please just let me go, " and "Did we really believe we had the right to force "life" on a suffering man who had begged for the right to die?".
Mac's decision and desperation to die could be considered to be triggered by the intense pain and the loss of his dignity. These triggers are described as " long enough to see him lose his youth, his wit, his macho, his hair, his bowel and bladder control, his sense of taste and smell, and his ability to do the slightest thing for himself.