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          Living - and dying - on your own terms

          Corner Store Epiphanies

          Tiffany Oliver

          Issue date: 4/23/10 Section: Opinion
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          Just as there is a right to life, there should also be a patient's right to death, regardless of the government's policies.
          Just as there is a right to life, there should also be a patient's right to death, regardless of the government's policies.
          [Click to enlarge]
          I think as humans we have the right to live life on our own terms, as long as it does not hurt anyone else. Individuals should have control over their bodies and their lives, and people do not have the right to dictate the terms of others' lives. If living is no longer desired, why does it matter if you die?

          The major cases addressing euthanasia and physician assisted-suicide involve terminally ill patients at the end of their lives. The Supreme Court has yet to agree that there is a fundamental right to die, although it has acknowledged a right to live. My personal view is that it should not matter whether you are in physical pain -you have the right to end your suffering and to be happy. If someone repeatedly asks to die, what authority do we have as a society to say no?

          Most people in our society fear death and cannot comprehend why someone would want to speed up a natural process. People do not want those close to them committing suicide because of the pain such a loss would cause, and because of the pervading feeling that they could have done something to make their loved one want to live. All people are going to die. Death is death; age is irrelevant. Passing through existence is a powerful concept, and it scares people, because nobody knows exactly what happens spiritually when someone dies. It is wrong for society to impose its values on others when said values infringe on a person's right to choose how to live. Yes, it is terrible to lose someone to suicide, but at the same time, when someone feels that bad, there is nothing you can do to help. Even doctors cannot help everyone.

          If the court wants to rule on euthanasia, it should not separate physical pain from emotional pain. Decriminalized physician-assisted suicide should apply to all medical conditions, terminal or otherwise. As long as the person attempts treatment options and consistently asks to die over a set span of time, who are we to say no? Dying is as much a right as living, even if the courts do not agree. Wanting to die should not be considered irrational, especially since humans strive to control as many aspects of their lives as possible. Controlling our death should not fall within a separate category.
          Continued...
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          Viewing Comments 1 - 3 of 3

            retpilot

            posted 4/23/10 @ 9:11 AM EST

            Tiffany,

            I agree with you completely except for the part about "as long as the person attemps treatment options" why is tha?, To pump just a bit more money into the health industry. (Continued…)

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            but..

            posted 4/23/10 @ 3:18 PM EST

            Tiffany,
            I believe your article is fundamentally flawed in that you claim everyone has the 'right to life.'

            This may become a sore spot for conversation, but I think many people would disagree with that statement. (Continued…)

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            Molly L. H.

            posted 4/26/10 @ 4:32 PM EST

            Tiffany,

            You argue that euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide should be allowed because we should not force anyone to be in pain. However, you lump together two very distinct cases that, in my opinion, should be kept separate: someone in physical pain, and someone in emotional pain. (Continued…)

            Details   Reply to this comment

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            In This Issue

            News

            • A Conversation with Caroline Goulding
            • Don't blow it all at once: financial tips for recent graduates
            • International student session to debut during 2010 orientation
            • Name That Place - 4/23/2010
            • Relay For Life raises $76,000, short of goal but not short of spirit
            • Student Leadership Award Winners
            • Tanning dangers abound as summer approaches
            • What Now?
            • Mass funding successful for some, headache for other organizations

            Sports

            • Case falls to Wooster at Progressive Field
            • Spartan Spotlight: Obinna Nwanna
            • Spartans are optimistic heading into UAA's
            • Spartans extend win streak to six
            • Spartans snap long losing streak
            • The next step
            • Top 10 Spartan stories of 2009-2010

            Opinion

            • 2009-2010 Year in Review
            • Letter to the Editor: Straight Answers to Questions about Greek Life Funding
            • Living - and dying - on your own terms
            • The last hurrah: experiencing senior week
            • What are you doing this summer?

            Focus

            • A final fling for finals
            • Despite an oppressive crowd and disappointing opener, Ben Folds continues to impress on stage
            • MaDaCol performance distinguishes dance as alternative communication medium
            • Parting word of advice: Express yourself
            • Springfest blowout to feature activities, student bands and national headlines
            • The best bars in Cleveland
            • Tri-C Jazz Festival features stunning jazz organ performance, among others
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