Within the parameter of my paper I will discuss the history of euthanasia and the legislation that has taken place in the past and more current legislative provisions including the Oregon Death with Dignity Act. There are many different types of euthanasia including active, passive, voluntary and involuntary. I will discuss physician-assisted suicides, which can take and active or passive form. Opponents and their views will be looked at, along with reasoning behind these views. I will focus on court cases of doctor Jack Kevorkian and his reasoning behind euthanasia. I will point out how the state of Oregon supports their doctors in practices of euthanasia while Michigan has created laws specifically to criminalize the performing of euthanasia because of Kevorkian. I will conclude with the legislation in the Netherlands on euthanasia being the first country to legalize it, and look into whether the United States will follow. The reason I chose euthanasia as a topic for this paper is because of the controversy over it. I wanted to learn the viewpoints of the opponents and the supporters to understand more clearly what euthanasia actually meant. Also, with the baby boomer generation entering into senior citizenship, the health care system is going to be extremely burdened over the coming decades, and euthanasia may be an option for those who are terminally ill and willing to take that course.
Legislative History
Euthanasia is a Greek term referring to allowing a person to die a “good death”, whether that meant with dignity, without pain, or with honor. The first modern proposal for euthanasia legislation was made in Ohio in 1906, provided that when an adult of sound mind had been fatally hurt or was terminally ill, his physician would be permitted to ask him in the presence of three witnesses if he wished to die. Then, three other physicians were required to confirm the original prognosis before the individual could be put to death. The bill was defeated 23 to 79....