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Alicia Lovato
Collin Hull
English 2010
13 December 2016
Revised Rhetorical Situation Portfolio
The legalization of the debate over euthanasia has intensified these days. On the one hand, some
argue, that people with a terminal illness have a right to use euthanasia to end their life if they choose.
However, others believe that euthanasia is a crime of murder. Still others contend that since euthanasia is
already legalized in Oregon for their terminally ill is justification enough for them to end their own life.
Even so, these various perspectives show us that this issue is based on the value of a human lives, beliefs,
and judgments.
One perspective is given in an October 7, 2014 New York Times article Euthanasia Works by,
Thaddeus Mason Pope the director of the Health Law Institute at Hamline University, and a frequent legal
commentator and blogger on end-of-life medical issues. Pope argues, that Oregon's assisted-suicide can
work sensibly and justly. He argues that the safeguards that are put into place for Oregon's Death with
Dignity Act will ensure that patients who are terminally ill make only voluntary, informed decisions to
end their life. The safeguards in Oregon's law allows the participation by defined categories of patients.
The patients must be mentally healthy residents of Oregon, 18 or older, who must also have had two
physicians determine that they have no more than six months to live. Pope argues that because of these
multitude of safeguards it also ensures that the patients are making a voluntary and informed decision.
Before he/she will be approved for euthanasia.
Since, most of the patients were dying of cancer and most feared a loss of autonomy, dignity and
decreasing ability to participate in activities that made their life enjoyable. Is a reason why euthanasia
should be an option for a terminally ill person to hasten their death.

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The rhetorical strategy that Pope uses here is showing that euthanasia is safe and cannot be misused. He
states, the physician must first educate the patient about all the alternative options including palliative
care, pain management and hospice. The patient must then make three separate requests (two oral and one
written). The oral request must be separated by at least 15 days, and the written request must be
independently witnessed by two people. The patient can rescind these applications at any time. Finally, to
further ensure that patient remains in full control of the process, they must administer the medication
themselves. Because all these steps must be followed accordingly that there is no evidence of an
inordinate impact on the vulnerable populations of exploitation. This appeases those with the opposing
This information that Pope has shared, has permitted legislatures and courts around the world to
be able to assess Oregon's experience. Many have found this to very helpful. Pope, says that over 97
percent of the patients who died from ingesting a lethal dose of medications were white. Over 98 percent
had health insurance, over 90 percent were enrolled in hospices and over 72 percent had gone to college.
This shows that the majority of the terminally ill
Never the less, there are those who are religiously affiliated who believe euthanasia is murder. In
Tischause Magill's Medical Guide by Frederic and Leslie, the authors, argue that the majority of people
who are religiously affiliated are against euthanasia. Fredric and Leslie, argue this by an article written in
their Medical Guide by Joseph Fletcher, an Episcopal priest, who argues against euthanasia which is
demonstrated by his quote: "His or her life may be ended out of compassion for the person he or she once
was". Still another group of religious affiliation that shares a similar viewpoint and opposes euthanasia is
The United Church of Christ. This is clearly shown in their policy statement: "When illness takes away
these abilities, we assume with full person once hadwe may well fell that the more continue of the body
by machine or drugs this is a violation of their person we do not believe just the continuance of mere
physical existence is either morally defensible or surreally desirable or is God's will". The church further
argues the reason they are opposed to euthanasia is simply because, "God is the giver of life and God's

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authority is in the matters of life and death." In ending their argument they believe the physician should
honor the sixth commandment: "Thou shall not kill."

Should Euthanasia be a legal option for people with a terminal illness? This is really a
question of human value, belief, and judgments. In my experience with working with individuals
who are forsaken to battle a terminal illness without any medications that can slow down the
process of its depilating effects or altogether stop the terminal illness. It can be a miserable
experience for the family and friends to watch their loved one suffer knowing they will die from
their terminal illness. It can be an equally frustrating experience for the physicians, and medial
team involved in the care of the patient, because they have no answers as to how to cure the
terminally ill person. Therefore, not knowing how to cure the person inflicted with the terminal
illness, is more detrimental than, having the answers that will provide a cure.
Although it is true that after having researched for this exploratory analysis of
euthanasia, it is apparent that each viewpoint analyzed has their own strong stance that have a
well-rooted and well-justified points of views, mostly based on the particular research and
personal experiences of the authors. Additionally, there will always be very different beliefs as to
why or why not a person with a terminal illness is justified enough to use euthanasia. But the
final decisions that will ultimately be made will be according to and determined by the courts to
legalize or oppose euthanasia. This decision depends greatly on an individuals right to
determine what is to be done to his or her own body, and societys position towards God and the
role of suffering in the life of the believer.
To summarize since there is such a wide range of opinions and much uncertainty
involving euthanasia and what constitutes as a good death. The decisions that are made by the
courts in the act of legalizing euthanasia throughout the US, depends greatly on an individuals

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right to determine what is to be done to his or her own body and societys position against
euthanasia. This is an issue where the law will continue to remain in a state of limbo. Despite
those that support euthanasia whom believe that a terminally ill person with six months or less to
live should be able to choose euthanasia to end their suffering. However, those who are in
opposition for the terminally ill to use euthanasia to hasten their death, will continue to stand
strong in their beliefs that euthanasia is wrong and is nothing more than suicide.

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Works Cited
Emanuel, Ezekiel J., et al. "Attitudes and Practices Of Euthanasia And Physician-Assisted
Suicide In The United States, Canada, And Europe." JAMA: Journal of the American
Medical Association 316.1 (2016): 79-90. PsycINFO. Web. 9 Dec. 2016.
Frederich, Katherine B., PhD, and Leslie V., PhD Tischauser. "Euthanasia." MagillS Medical
Guide (Online Edition) (2016): Research Starters. Web. 14 Sept. 2016.
Pope, Thaddeus Mason. "Oregon Shows That Assisted Suicide Can Work Sensibly and Fairly."
New York Times. The New York Times Company, 7 Oct. 2014. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.