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Kory Bassett

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English 1010-21
March. 27. 2017

Our Right to Die


In a world where conflicting ideas cause conflicts in all forms, the rights of
one person comes
into question more often than it should. Even though death is the only
certain thing we know of
in this world people still avoid talking about it. This creates problems
whenever the topic of
euthanasia is brought up. The fact that only a few states including California,
Colorado, Oregon,
Vermont, and Washington allow Physician aid in dying (PAD). You can easily
see how a groups
opinion can so widely vary on what you think would be a simple idea. It has
grown into quite
the controversial topic and that is proven in media as well as society.
. Keep in mind none of these opinions are my own unless stated
otherwise and any
content appearing as such are ideas from the authors. This is a rhetorical
essay with the
purpose of analyzing two articles written by different authors. Morris M. and J
Pereira. I was
able to find a few interesting articles on the subject but ultimately decided to
pick these two
based on the different sides of the spectrum they both come from. I also
appreciated the list
format of both articles. The titles of the two are Legalizing euthanasia or
assisted suicide: the
illusion of safeguards and controls by J. Pereira and 10 Arguments for
legalizing Euthanasia by
Morris M. I personally feel J. Pereira had a stronger case on the subject
because of his past
experience as well as the countless references he uses throughout his article
to harden his
credibility on the topic. Its their life they should have the right to decide
what they want out
of it. J. Pereira. You would think thats a reasonable view to have, but then
again. You just
might be wrong.
Morris M. Top 10 Arguments for Legalizing Euthanasia published on
Listverse Sept 12

2013. As far as I can tell he is an avid reader and commenter of list articles
while also making

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hundreds himself. He is a freelance writer and newly-qualified teacher. He


gets his interest for

making articles on so many topics from his methods as a teacher which is to


show his students

that its important to know about many subjects. A quick look at his articles
helps support this

claim. His purpose with this article is most likely to persuade readers who are
looking for a

reason to lean towards the legalization of Euthanasia or even casual readers


who simply have

an interest in the topic and would like to see both sides of it.

In his article, he goes over the idea of euthanasia spreading them


across 10 major points

in a list format done for a rhetorical reason. This is to make the reader focus
onto certain
aspects of the article one a time. While at the same time allowing the reader
to pause before

carrying on to the next important point made in the article. He talks about
that in nations

where euthanasia is legal, its the near-exclusive preserve of the terminally


ill. Making the point

that only people who are dying are given this choice of what they want to do
with their life. He

argues that being forced to live through another one maybe two weeks in
agonizing pain

shouldnt be a choice that someone other than the dying person should be
able to make. He

also points out that it makes sense on an economical level. It saves money in
medical costs and

hospital bills. This might be acceptable if end-of-life care was worth the
money, but its

objectively not, He says. Morris enhances this by mentioning how doctors will
attest that

modern medicine allows us to slightly prolong life. This doesnt come without
destroying its

quality though. Something that a professional might not be able to


differentiate unlike the

person requesting this service. He wants the reader to know that end of life
care is brutal and

very expensive

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A major idea brought up in this article is the point maybe on bullet #10
where Morris

talks about how people have the right to die. It is made an easy argument
when he compares
this idea to that of how people will argue about someone having the right to
live. Well equally

they also should have the right to die then. He makes the point that while
we live we exercise

the right to live; when our life ends, we exercise the right to die. He forces it
with quite

significant weight in the sense that we are all human and all have basic
rights to our choices.

He has a very subjective view on the topic. We can see this based on
the multiple points

he makes which are bulleted with opinionated titles helping to prove that his
feelings towards

this subject are strong. When he talks about the refusal of euthanasia for a
victim of multiple

sclerosis. Someone unable to control their own body forced to live in a state
of complete agony

all the while they are unable to end their own life because of their condition.
This helps support

the idea of the authors sense of humility for this article. Along with the
following example he

gives where in 2005, the New England Journal of Medicine conducted a study
that found only

0.4 percent of all euthanasia procedures were carried out without the
patients explicit

permission.

The author loves supportive content to help back up his claims and to
help him lead new

ideas. The author likes using numbers and statistics to back up his points.
One of the examples
of this that he gives us is in 2005, the New England Journal of Medicine
conducted a study that

found only 0.4 percent of all euthanasia procedures were carried out without
the patients

explicit permission. Another pretty important example of a study is that in


1991, a Dutch report

on euthanasia found that in 86 percent of cases, euthanasia shortened life by


a maximum of

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one week and usually only a few hours. This helps support the idea of the
authors research for

this article. This also allows the reader to check his claims to see if they are
indeed truthful.

Morris uses a list format to give the reader choices on what they feel is
important to

read about. Letting the reader skip to what points they find interesting and
jump into that

section of the article without having to scour through it all. I see how this
could turn some

readers away because of how simple it looks but I think this allows the article
to be more

approachable for a casual reader. This most likely isnt the intended audience
based on the way

Its written. To broaden the amount of readers could be helpful to reach a


bigger audience.

The famous do no harm is a summation of the Hippocratic Oath.


He informs us on

the premise that by this meaning for doctors duties to do no harm means to
not artificially
keep a patient alive to stall an inevitable death of one person. When a
person is in such pain

keeping them alive is doing more harm than good. He enforces these points
to push the idea

that denying patients the right to have control over their life is to violate the
principles of their

doctoral oath.

The author makes it apparent from the very start that he wants to
persuade the reader

into accepting that euthanasia should be allowed and even enforced. His
strong emotions bleed

into the subject like a blanket covering the article with strong views on why
we should stand up

for this topic. In his words forcing someone to live with such pain is torture
and if torture is

illegal then why is this the common norm? He makes many statements about
why he believes

in it while also understanding that there are other views on it. While he
makes it clear that he

feels those contradicting ideas are the wrong ones, he still acknowledges
their existence.

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The second article that I chose for this is a longer essay type article by
J. Pereira and is

titled, Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide: the illusion of safeguards


and control. I found

it posted only at NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) under


the US National

Library of Medicine section and was published in April of 2011. Pereira is very
experienced in
the medical field having had studied at the university of Ottawa; Department
of Palliative

Medicine, and moving on to serve as an acting doctor at Ottawa Hospital


under Palliative Care

Services. The purpose of this article is to inform readers on all things


euthanasia and what it

means from a doctors view. This article is an academic piece of media for
information and

educational purposes. Pereiras intended audience are members of


academia, educators, and

people interested in learning about the topic of euthanasia on a more


professional level.

Pereiras article is more of an informative seminar than that of a


standardized article.

Much like Morris, Pereira uses statistics to help support his claims. Unlike
Morris however,

Pereira gives references to back up his claims. Using examples on other


countries success with

legalization of euthanasia Pereira shows the reader the benefits of


euthanasia. He educates the

reader in a way that it doesnt feel forced onto them. Pereira strongly
emphasizes the fact that

only physicians can follow through with the act of euthanasia making it quite
clear that his

stance from early on is that it should only be executed by professionals in the


field. Hes sure to

make it known that while he is very for euthanasia there are some issues
with how the

reporting of cases happens. He talks about this in part 2.2 where he


mentions how some of the

cases go unreported for the likely reason of legality.


Pereira uses an illustrative format to describe the examples used within
the article.

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This seems to isolate the article to a niche audience based on the type of
content provided

within it. His paragraphs can be lengthy but each one is very insightful on
presenting you with

facts and studies on each question he introduces into the article. The listing
format used gives

clarity to the reader. Each paragraph is defined neatly by a different colored


header that is sure

to catch your eye indicating you are moving onto the next point. This makes
it easier for the

reader to pick back up where they left off if they step away from the article.
Its much the same

as chapters that way so it makes the article more approachable.

Pereira illuminates the readers thinking by presenting statistics on


almost every

sentence of in his paragraphs. While talking about mandatory reporting of all


cases of

euthanasia he mentions how half of all cases of euthanasia are not reported
according to the

Federal Control and Evaluation Committee. He then follows that up by


explaining that this isnt

a problem with euthanasia itself and more about how its regulated. He uses
another example

to support this by comparing Belgium to Switzerland where that percentage


is lowered to 18%.

Pereira is very adamant about giving the reader proof to his claims rather
than expecting the
reader to just believe what he says.

Towards the end of the article Pereira gives a detailed summary of the
main points
within the article. The information covered within is quite a lot and the
author probably noticed
that so writing a summary of what he is trying to convince the reader of
shows that the author
is aware of the content he wrote about and the article itself. This is very
impressive as it shows
the ability to identify his own rhetoric and allows him to make choices like
this to help the
reader understand the articles meaning. He also leaves a list of over 55
references at the end of
the article to allow the reader to more easily cite his sources in the case that
the reader still

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doesnt believe the facts laid out in the article. They are free to use any of
the links provided to
double check. This is the biggest rhetorical choice that the author made
because it puts his
reputation on the line as well as everything he says in the article. It shows
the professionalism
required for an article like this on such a controversial topic.

After taking a look at both articles and thoroughly evaluating them to


the best of my
ability, I would say that Pereira more effectively achieves his goal of
persuading his intended
audience. Pereiras details analysis of the situation as well as his
understanding of both sides as
a academic figure as well as a medical professional. He is by far he more
qualified of the two
using his experience and 57 references guiding the reader through his article
allowing them to
check every claim he makes to assert his credibility even more with each
example. When he
talks about the 50% of euthanasia cases going unreported he references the
original article as
well as cross referencing that article. The detail taken to achieve Pereiras
goal is undeniable in
the passionate writing style as well as his ability to demonstrate his
intelligence with thoughtful
examples.

Morris wrote a fine click-bait article but I could feel from early on that
Pereiras was
superior. Morris has stacking experience writing these kind of list articles that
are very
approachable for all audiences. He did extensive research on the subject and
made a fairly
literate piece of media but when compared to Pereira the credentials dont
quite meet equally.
The problem with giving statistics without leaving references for the reader
to check out is that
the reader has no idea if the numbers produced in the article are correct or
just fiction. For the
more casual reader who seems to be the intended audience for this list type
click-bait articles I
dont think they care too much about double checking the numbers. For a
more interested or
skeptical reader however they might have a problem with just believing what
the author writes
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in the article without proving proof of the claims stated. This isnt to say he
didnt give sources
on the statistics, he posted I just feel that the way Pereira left a list of every
reference made in
the article corresponding with cross references to compare was far more
thorough. As a reader
was passionate about the topic I appreciated the sources being listed for me
to read further
into the topic of euthanasia more easily. Morris was almost primal in his
emotion towards the
topic but I had a hard time taking it too seriously because of the website it
was posted on thats
famous for click-bait articles with the intended purpose of getting as many
views as possible.
This is probably what did it for me. I am sure his more frequent or intended
readers dont mind
too much but I had to take this into account when deciding whos was the
better article.
Its also important to pay attention to the numbers. The Netherlands
has approximately
2700 deaths by euthanasia or assisted suicide each year. A common
argument is that it
doesnt save money. Assuming that all of those deaths followed the
strenuous guidelines
provided by the Dutch government and based on the information provided
by the New England
journal of medicine the costs of medical care for dying patient who dies of
cancer after
receiving conventional care, $30,397 (in 1995) is spent on medical care in
the last year of
life. 33 percent of that 10,118 is spent in the last month of life. Now with
some basic
calculations we can work out thats roughly 2.7 million dollars in medical
expenses that was
avoided by the legalization of euthanasia, just some food for thought before
closing. We
mustnt stop talking about this topic as it is a big issue in the world today.
Until we can come to
a conclusion whether it be that humans shouldnt have the right to decide
when they die or
that we should be able to make our own choices I do think its important to
be passionate
about what we believe in and to push ourselves to stray from the norm and
find new things we
might be interested in. Its important because I never would have learned so
much about this
topic if I hadnt taken the time to push myself and discover something I am
truly passionate
about. We have the right to our existence but its important not to waste that
existence.