Right to Die

A discussion of the laws surrounding euthanasia with an emphasis on living wills.

This paper describes the moral and ethical issues surrounding euthanasia or assisted suicide and analyzes the current U.S. law. It distinguishes between the two types of euthanasia -passive euthanasia, withdrawal of life support and active euthanasia, the right of a patient to request for a doctor to perform. It investigates the concept of a living will which allows one to specify the circumstances under which you wish to receive particular types of life sustaining treatment should you become terminally ill and unable to convey your decisions to your physician and examines their legalities in different States.
“The State of Maryland have laws that permit you to appoint a health care agent or Power of Attorney, someone who makes decisions for the patient if they become incompetent or can no longer speak for themselves. The appointment of these health care agents is most often accomplished through filling out the forms known as health care proxies. Some health care proxy forms allow you to direct your agent to make specific medical treatment decisions in particular situations. These health care agents have the power to make all medical decisions for incapacitated persons, including decisions concerning life-sustaining medical interventions.”