As of July 2014, the total number of doctors who support euthanasia is approximately 54 percent. The amount of private citizens who support it for terminally ill patients is 86 percent. The private citizens who support euthanasia for terminally ill patients who otherwise would die in pain is 55 percent.Know More
Dr. Kervorkian, the American doctor jailed for administering euthanasia drugs to patients requesting this assistance, served eight years in prison for assisting in suicides. Out of a poll of 1,001 Americans, 42 percent supported legalizing euthanasia. In the same poll, 37 percent of Americans opposed euthanasia while 22 percent remained undecided. Among those who were polled, 47 percent of Democrats supported euthanasia while 51 percent of Republicans opposed the legalization of euthanasia.
In 1990, approximately 9 percent of all deaths in the Netherlands were the result of euthanasia. The states of Washington and Montana have legalized physician-assisted suicide. In 2013, the state of Vermont recognized physician recommended suicide as a medical treatment. In 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that there is no legal right for citizens to obtaining physician-assisted suicide and that there is no constitutional protection for those who seek euthanasia, including no legal protection for patients engaging in euthanasia or doctors who administer it.Learn more about Law
Oregon, Montana, Vermont and Washington state have assisted suicide laws where some kind of physician-assisted suicide is legal in the United States, according to the Euthanasia Research & Guidance Organization. Oregon's law went into effect in 1998, while Vermont's assisted-suicide law was the first such law passed by a legislature.Full Answer >
Supporters of euthanasia see its biggest benefit as relief from suffering and pain for a dying patient. Euthanasia is seen as a more humane alternative for terminally ill loved ones who are undergoing intense or unstoppable pain, and allowing a patient to die on his own terms is viewed as an act of mercy.Full Answer >
Disadvantages of euthanasia include that it violates the Hippocratic Oath of physicians, demeans human life, may lead to suicides for patients who are not critical and may cause physicians to give up on treatment earlier, according to Joe Messerli on BalancedPolitics.org. Messerli also writes that assisted suicide is prohibited by many religions, and asking physicians of those religions to assist in suicide may be unethical.Full Answer >
Those who believe that euthanasia, or assisted suicide, should be legal often argue that a person who is terminally ill has the right to bypass severe pain in favor of a dignified and timely death. They believe that banning euthanasia causes terminally ill patients to suffer needlessly. Many who are against euthanasia cite the disadvantage that legalizing this practice may lead to involuntary euthanasia, given that health care costs are so high and there are a lot of gray areas regarding consent.Full Answer >