self-administered lethal injection without fear of prosecution”(http://www.rights.org/ deathnet/open.html). On January31, 1997, a Judge ruled that Charles Hall could take his own life with the aid of a doctor. Senior Judge S. JosephDavis, brought in from Seminole County, “found that Floridas strict privacy law and the equal protection clause in theU.S. Constitution entitled Hall, 35, and Dr. McIver to carry out an assisted death without fear of prosecution” (Sun-Sentinel,1A).
On February 11, 1997, Charles Halls ruling was overturned by the Florida Supreme Court: he no longer hasthe right to end his own life. He will have to wait until May 9, 1997 until new arguments will be heard. Hall, whohas been deemed mentally competent, contracted the virus in 1981 through a blood transfusion. “Some of the complicationshe is encountering from the AIDS virus are arthritis, hepatitis, pneumonia and a brain cyst” (http://www.rights.org/deathnet/open.html). The Oregon Death with Dignity Act allows terminally ill adults who are mentally competentto ask for a prescription for medication “for the purpose of ending his or her life in a humane and dignified manner”(http://www.rights.org/deathnet/open.html). This act, “Measure 16,” was approved by the voters in 1994.
“Renewed effortsat the Legislative level to overturn “Measure 16” may now be anticipated to prevent the law from being used”(http://www.rights.org/deathnet/open. html). In June, 1990, the Supreme Court decided that the parents of32 year old Nancy Beth Cruzan, who had been in a car accident and in what Doctors called a vegetative state forseven years, could not end her treatment. Later that same year, a Missouri Court ruled that the feeding tube could be removedafter evidence that Cruzan would wish to terminate the treatment was proven. “Nancy Beth Cruzan died twelvedays later”(Death and Dying,26). The First Amendment gives one the right to demand the correction ofan injustice. Would one not consider a terminal illness an injustice? Charles Hall contracted this deadly disease froma blood transfusion not from shooting drugs or having unprotected sex.
So wouldnt Hall be entitled to have this injusticecorrected? The Fourteenth Amendment gives one the right to life, liberty, or property, without due processof law. However, is living with complications from a terminal illness, so severe that one is unable to function independently,life? The government says that it is. Liberty is freedom, but is having complications which do not allow one to be freeand independent, freedom? The government says once again that it is. Freedom is also having the ability to makechoices. These choices should include the ability to decide to end ones own life when such complications exist.
In conclusion,evidence has shown that the First and Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution entitles citizens of the UnitedStates of America the right to die. The government was setup to govern, not to rule with absolute power. Ifthe people were to keep silent about what they believe in, our government would not exist as the system that it istoday. Our democracy was created because of those brave souls who fought for their rights, and we should followin their footsteps. If everyone would voice there opinion in favor for the right to die, the government would have toattend to the peoples wishes.