This I Believe

Maciej - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on February 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe

About two to three years ago, when I was still in elementary school, I didn’t think very much of death. I knew it came to all people, whether by nature, war, violence, or a number of other things, yet I had never experienced it on a personal level since I had never had anyone close to me die. The only thing that I had ever heard death to bring was sadness and anger, so I considered it something to be avoided at all costs. When I blindly selected the topic of ‘euthanasia’ for a research paper, my mind was instantly blown. Never had I even imagined taking the gift of life away from another person, even if it was dubbed “mercy killing”. To this day, still believe euthanasia to be unjust and against the morals of humanity.

Though I already had a solid personal opinion of euthanasia, I was not sure why others support it. I started to hear about Terri Schiavo on the news, and I still could not understand why they wanted to perform nonvoluntary euthanasia on her, without any consent from her whatsoever. Doctors considered her “brain dead” in a vegetative state, with no personal thoughts going through her mind. Others described her as never being able to have a “life” again. These were all valid, yet there have cases of coma/brain dead patients being able to hear everything while in their hospital bed and others whose brains were magically stimulated with certain types of medications. With this overwhelming evidence, I believe that there is a chance for every “brain dead” person to experience happiness again, and that they should be kept alive.

Being raised in a Catholic family, I believe that life was something to be held sacred. My parents had always taught me that it is sinful to take your own life or to take the lives of others. As the Terri Schaivo story began to unravel the Pope of the Catholic Church, began to speak out against euthanasia as well. With this newly reinforced support from my faith, I decided that my belief against euthanasia was strong enough for me to write a letter to a foundation that would send my letter to Terri’s husband, asking him to allow Terri to stay alive. The foundation even offered to pay to keep the machines running, assuming all financial responsibility for her well being.

Despite protestors, whom I strongly agreed with, Terri Schiavo was euthanized on March 31, 2005. I feel that this was truly a crime. I do not believe that people should have their right to breathe taken away when a chance of even a moment of happiness is possible for that person. Every patient has even the slightest chance of recovery- miraculous, almost total recoveries, have been recorded with countless amounts of coma and brain dead victims. With all the war, crime, and unjustified killing happening in today’s world, I cannot understand how someone can have the heart to kill yet another.