Dear Future President,

Should we allow euthanasia? In short, euthanasia is an act of putting an individual who is in severe pain and suffering to rest. However, there are different types of euthanasia. Passive euthanasia is defined as the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment(s). This would be like “pulling the plug” on a patient. Active euthanasia is an instance where lethal substances are used to end one’s life. This should not be confused with assisted suicide: the act of someone encouraging or directly helping another take his or her life. Active euthanasia is the patient’s own decision, which leads us to voluntary euthanasia: the patient’s own decision to end their life. Non-voluntary euthanasia is an instance where a patient is unable to make the decision so, similar to passive euthanasia, a family member may make the decision for them. Finally, there is involuntary euthanasia, where a person is killed despite his or her own wishes. This would be classified as murder.

This leads to a vital point: is euthanasia murder? If consent is given is it OK to take one’s life in a medical situation?

There are two main opinions revolving around the topic of euthanasia. Some “Individuals are torn by religious, moral, ethical and compassionate arguments surrounding the issue.” Many see euthanasia as a struggle between good and bad which, in turn, becomes a philosophical topic. “The English medical word ‘euthanasia’ comes from the Greek word eu meaning ‘good,’ and the Greek word thanatos meaning “death” (Nordqvist 1). Is good keeping someone alive for the sake of living, or, is good ending suffering at the cost of one’s life?

We already do this with our beloved pets when they are in suffering. No one wants to see any other living thing suffer. Quality of life is valuable.

Euthanasia is a topic that should be talked about more because of its life-changing aspects. The Karen Ann Quinlan Case (1970’s) is a U.S., revolving around Quinlan being in a vegetative state but, despite her and her families wishes, was not able to have the plug pulled. The family filed a lawsuit, and “Quinlan’s case paved the way for legal protection of voluntary passive euthanasia” (Nordqvist 2). Euthanasia revolves around one’s quality of life. Because of this case, many people’s lives have been changed dramatically, and perhaps even for the better.

Yours truly,

Asha Huff and Taylor Quillinan

Works Cited

Nordqvist, Christian. “Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 8 Apr. 2016. Web. 28 Oct. 2016.

“Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide – NHS Choices.” NHS Choices. Department of Health, n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2016.


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November 22, 2016 5:34 am

I really like how you were willing to talk about a topic most people put off to the side. This is a very important topic especially when it comes to people who are living as a veritable or are in such severe pain that they no longer want to live. I appreciate that you were willing to take a stance on the sensitive topic and I hope to see more from you.

November 12, 2016 9:50 pm

Dear Asha Huff and Taylor Quillinan,

I agree with your opinion on Euthanasia, because it is a topic that is not discussed enough and people need to start talking about it more. Also many people have lives which they are suffering through they should not have to endure so much pain if they don’t have to.

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is “Is good keeping someone alive for the sake of living, or, is good ending suffering at the cost of one’s life?” I think this is important to the idea because one should not have to live in pain and suffer until they die.

Another sentence that I caught my eye was: “No one wants to see any other living thing suffer. Quality of life is valuable.” This stood out for me because not only will someone suffering affect the person it will also affect the people around them and their take on life.

Your post reminds me of something that happened to me. One time I had to go through seeing someone die when I was very young and that person went through lots of medical treatment which everyone knew was not going to make this person better. This medical treatment made the persons last days worse then they could have been. This person should have had the option go ending their life without causing so much grief for family members.

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because this is a topic that I think should be pressed on and also it seems like your ideas are very valid.

Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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