‘Right to die’ is likely the next big political question

By: Kaleb Bengston

The United States has always had a history of progressivism. From equality for minorities and women to voting rights for 18 year olds, we have always tried to move forward. Recently the issue of marijuana and homosexuals getting married is in the forefront, and an era of change is stirring. But what comes next? What’s the next big issue that should change?

The big one to be fixed is euthanasia. It sounds so bad and gets spun as killing old people because they cost too much. That’s evil and selfish, but that’s not what I mean. The right to die should be a fundamental human dignity right. There are some hard hitting documentaries on the topic, like “Right to Die,” which has gained a lot of controversy.

If you see the trials of someone with an illness like Alzheimers, you have to be near inhuman to deny them the right to die with a little dignity. If people want to go out on their terms so that their spouses and loved ones can remember them as they were, not the ravaged individual they will inevitably become, let them. It’s not fair to let them degrade and fade away until they are nothing but a shell.

There are legitimate concerns on this topic, as there are for any other. The right to die might morph into the responsibility to die so that you don’t become a burden or economical black hole. There are some people who do believe that old people contribute nothing to society and are only using up money that can be used on something like science. So seeing the jump if euthanasia becomes widespread to a utilitarian stance is not that hard to imagine.

Religion is where all these issues come to a head. Morality: where does it stand? The afterlife and if it exists, then we treat our body as a temple and killing ourselves would damn us to Hell. But just because religion exists doesn’t mean it controls things. We need to draw the line and take religion out of controversial issues because when religion is brought into politics, rights get trampled.

The big issue would be where do we draw the line? Can just anyone end his or her life if he or she is unhappy? Do only physical illnesses qualify for euthanasia? Why not mental illnesses?

This is why it’s the next big thing that should be discussed in America. Dying people should not have to suffer, but where is the line drawn? It’s a question of human dignity, but where do we keep people from making rash decisions in cases of treatable illnesses, like HIV?

Ready or not, the newly elected representatives are sure to be determining just how much life to give or take to this increasingly debated question.

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