I chose to write my paper on Euthanasia or "Physician assisted suicide." This is a touchy subject because there are a lot of legal issues and religious beliefs that go with it. The big question is should a person who is terminally ill, in excruciating pain and feels their life is not worth living, be able to end their life. Ultimately euthanasia is a question of choice: empowering people to have control over their own bodies.
As of March of 1996, unless the person lives in Columbia, Japan, the Netherlands and Oregon, the only lawful option is to remain alive until you die of natural causes. The main opinions come from religious groups and medical associations who dedicate themselves to saving and extending peoples lives. Most people who are for euthanasia have seen family members suffer from fatal diseases and think it is wrong to watch a loved one suffer.
The debate over legalizing euthanasia has been going on for over ninety years in the United States. Many moral, ethical, and biblical questions have arisen in this debate that requires serious consideration. Euthanasia came to public attention in the Western nations in the 1870's when S.D. Williams and Lionel Tollemache published two essays.
These essays stated that if a patient is suffering from an incurable, painful illness, they should be able to request that their lives be ended, and that a doctor be legally able to assist them in their dying. Even though they failed to influence the medical ethics of their day, they managed to raise questions that would surface more persistently in 20th century. The first bill to voluntary euthanasia in this country was introduced in the Ohio Legislature in 1906. In 1937, Nebraska voted down a bill to legalize euthanasia in the U.S. The following year the Euthanasia Society of America was founded in New York City. Efforts were continued through the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's to legalize Euthanasia in the U.