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Are Death with Dignity and the Death Penalty really that different from a political point of view?

Updated on February 18, 2015
Death Valley in Spring
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Are Death with Dignity and the Death Penalty really that different from a political point of view?

In 2014 Brittany Maynard made headlines everywhere by sharing her story and making Death with Dignity one of the most discussed and debated topics around the world. Death with dignity allows individuals, who are suffering from a terminal illness to end their life on their own terms and for the most part has been met with great opposition.

Currently only a mere 3 states in America have enacted the Death with Dignity law: Oregon, Washington, and Vermont, a stark difference from the 33 states that support the death penalty.

Despite the obvious differences between capital punishment and the right to die, (one being a death sentence conferred on the most heinous criminals and the other being ones right to die as a result of an incurable condition), both the death penalty and Death with Dignity act both result in an individual losing their life unnaturally and by this I mean not by the hands of God (so to speak). So, what really makes death with dignity and the death penalty really that politically different from the other, and why is death with dignity such a slippery slope for the majority of Americans, when the majority of Americans already support the death penalty through a voting based initiative.

For the sake of exploring these queries lets just entertain a common argument against Death with Dignity and declare it suicide, wouldn’t this then by definition also imply that the Death Penalty is Murder?

America being a celebrated boiling pot of individuality and all ethnic and religious/ non-religious backgrounds, one would think America would extend the right to end one’s own suffering on the basis of freedom alone; even when someone else’s decision/’s does not reflect the personal beliefs of our own.


Is Death with Dignity Really that different from the Death Penalty from a political point of view?

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