Euthanasia Laws

Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 by Farida Palupi

Euthanasia, i.e. the practice of ending an individual's life in order relieve the person of pain and suffering, is undoubtedly one of the most controversial issue in the world today. Basically, euthanasia debate revolves around the very concept according to which it is referred to as 'voluntary suicide' or 'involuntary murder'. Though the history of this practice can be traced by to the Greek and Roman civilizations, only a few countries have successfully legalized this practice in accordance to their common law.

A look at euthanasia statistics compiled by The Gallup Organization in the United States reveals that 72 percent of the American population is in favor of this practice. While that is the general view in the United States, euthanasia laws in the country differ from one state to another.

Euthanasia: An Overview

The term 'homicide' refers to killing of an individual by another for any underlying reason. Going by this definition of homicide, killing a person in order to relieve him of intractable suffering also amounts to homicide. Taking this into consideration, most of the judicial systems of the world consider euthanasia as an illegal practice which doesn't have any place in our civil society. While euthanasia is divided into two types - active euthanasia and passive euthanasia, the term is most often used to refer to active euthanasia, i.e. the practice killing an individual by using lethal substances or force. Passive euthanasia, on the other hand, is the practice of stopping the treatment process which is necessary to keep the person alive. Among the two, active euthanasia is considered to be criminal homicide in various judicial systems but it is also used as a measure of capital punishment in various countries.

Euthanasia Around the World

As far as the legal status of euthanasia in various parts of the world is concerned, it differs from one country to another. Euthanasia is considered illegal in all the European countries except for Netherlands, where there are provisions for the same in some circumstances. In the United Kingdom, active euthanasia is considered to be at par with a murder. After a brief period wherein the practice was considered legal in Australia, the Australian administration introduced a legislation declaring voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide illegal in all its states and territories. Other countries which have legalized euthanasia include Belgium, Albania, Luxembourg etc. The pros and cons of euthanasia have a crucial role to play when it comes to legalization of this practice. In New Zealand, two attempts to legalize mercy killings failed when the bill about its legalization was met by severe criticism by the opposition in the Parliament. When it comes to the United States of America, different state jurisdictions have different laws for this practice.

Euthanasia in the United States

In the United States, religion and race play a crucial role when it comes to general opinion about euthanasia. Even though active euthanasia is illegal in the United States, the patients do have the right to refuse medical treatment. Similarly the patient can request for various measures to ease their pain and suffering, even if these measures hasten their death. Death caused in such circumstances amounts to passive euthanasia which is not considered illegal. Out of the 50 states which make the United States of America, only four states have provisions for euthanasia in their judicial system. These four states include Oregon, Washington, Montana and Texas. Among these states, Oregon was the first state to introduce euthanasia laws with the Death With Dignity (DWD) Act of 1994. According to this act, people who are terminally ill, with no chances of survival whatsoever, can ask the doctor for lethal medication. While these states have legalized mercy killing, states like Alabama, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina, West Virginia etc. have criminalized the practice in their common law.

It is by no means easy to get euthanasia laws passed owing to the general, and more importantly, the religious sentiments involved in the process. As far as religious sentiments are concerned, several religions preach that no individual has the right to kill another, and this is considered to be one of the most prominent reason against euthanasia that you are likely to hear in the euthanasia debate. A deeper introspection of the euthanasia pros and cons has to be done, and only then can we decide whether the same has a place in our civil society or not. 

Stupid Laws

Posted on Monday, March 5, 2012 by Farida Palupi

"The only power that a government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws." ~ Ayn Rand

The aforementioned is a well-worded quote. The government tends to declare so many laws and on such unbelievable instances or activities, that we are forced to call them 'real stupid laws'! Forget about the rest of the world, even the US has some remarkably stupid state laws that can force you think... 'What the hell were they thinking'!!!

Some Stupid Laws in the USA

Mentioned below are some highly stupid yet funny laws that exist in the United States. So get ready to read these weird laws in the USA and get amazed and shocked!!

In the state of New York, you may have to pay a $25 fine for flirting. This old law mainly forbids men from turning their heads around on any city street and look at any women 'in that way'. You may also be forced to wear a pair of 'horse-blinders', if you are a man caught doing so while you are out for a walk.
New York citizens are not allowed to greet each other by 'putting one thumb in the nose and wiggling the other fingers'!
If you plan to jump off a building in New York, they will give you a death penalty!
You cannot wear slippers after 10:00 pm.
It is illegal for a woman to wear body hugging clothes in the streets of New York, however, there is another stupid law that states that 'women may go topless in public, provided it is not being used as a business.' (Excuse me!!!)
While riding in an elevator, you must not speak with anyone and you should fold your hands while you look forward the door! (Will I be penalized if I had to sneeze at that point?!!)
In Woodstock, New York, it is illegal for a person to walk their bear on the street without a leash.
The owner of every hotel in Hastings, Nebraska, is required to provide each guest with a clean and pressed nightshirt. No couple, married or unmarried, may sleep together nude. Nor may they have sex unless they are wearing one of these clean, white cotton nightshirts.
In Washington, people are not allowed to buy any kind of meat or mattress on a Sunday.
When two trains happen to come to the same crossing at the same time, neither shall go until the other has passed. (Did you figure how that's gonna work?)
A sex law in Florida states: 'If you're a single, divorced, or widowed woman, you can't parachute on Sunday afternoons.'
In Illinois, animals can be sentenced to imprisonment. A monkey served 5 days in a Chicago jail for shoplifting. Also, in South Bend, Indiana, a monkey was convicted for smoking a cigarette and was sentenced to pay a fine of $25 in addition to the cost of the trial.
In West Virginia, a person may be placed behind the bars for up to 6 months for making fun of someone who refuses to accept a challenge.
It is legal for a male to have sex with an animal unless it ain't more than 40lbs. This is the law in the state of West Virginia. (Sick!!)
Also, no children may attend their school if their breath smells of "wild onions"!
No man in Alaska must NEVER be completely naked. Never never never!!
It is illegal to snooze on a train.
Eating a neighbor's baby is strictly forbidden in Alaska!! (Who the hell does that?)
In Alaska, bar owners must not allow their bartenders to serve drinks unless they are drunk themselves!
If you want to eat live eels and don't want to be punished, you must shout "Warning - Idiot eating eels" before you start.
Alaska seems to have some fancy towards moose. Look at some of the stupid laws mentioned below which are strictly "Moose based! "Looking at the moose from an airplane is against the law. Feeding alcoholic beverages to a moose is considered to be offensive. You are forbidden to push a moose out of a plane which is already in motion. While someone is moose hunting, it is illegal to whisper in the hunter's ear. No moose is allowed to have sex on the city streets! (Go get a room moose!!)
Stealing snow from your neighbors garden for making an igloo is permitted, however if you change your mind and make a snowman from it, you are in trouble as it is against the law.
Beware of introducing your dating partner as your married spouse in Texas! If you publicly introduce a person as your husband or wife at least 3 times, you can be considered as legally married!
The entire Encyclopedia Britannica is completely banned in the state of Texas as it contains the formula of making beer at home!
Speaking of beer, it is illegal in Texas to take more than 3 sips of beer at a time while you are standing and sipping it!
As per the crime laws of Texas, criminals should give their victims a 24 hr notice in writing or verbally. He should also explain the nature of crime he intends to commit.
It is illegal for a person to shoot a buffalo from the second floor of a hotel in Texas!
No woman may have sex with a man while riding in an ambulance within the boundaries of Tremonton, Utah. If caught, the woman can be charged with a sexual misdemeanor and "her name is to be published in the local newspaper." The man isn't penalized nor is his identity revealed.
Under The California state law, "it is illegal to peel an orange in a hotel room."
Saying "Oh boy" in public may get you into trouble in Georgia as there exists a law that forbids to do so.
You can't get a fish drunk in Oklahoma!
Any city in the state of Missouri can impose a tax to support a band, as long as the mayor plays piccolo and each band member is able to eat peas with a knife.

Some Stupid Laws in the World

After getting enough of some stupid laws in America, here are some real stupid laws from the rest of the world.

In Switzerland, washing your car and hanging your clothes to dry, and mowing your lawn on a Sunday is illegal.
In Switzerland, it is against the law for a bank to refuse vault owners to store their dead relatives in their vaults unless the time period for doing the same is up to 7 months.
Also, you need to answer nature's call before 10 pm in Switzerland as it is illegal to flush the toilet after that in your apartment.
In Australia, it is illegal to walk on the right side of the road.
Minors may smoke but not buy cigarettes or cigars, also they can not purchase condoms or alcohol but they can certainly use them in Australia.
Gold Coast, Australia laws consider it illegal for a woman to wear a bikini which has more than 6 square inches of material.
In Sydney, Australia, It is against the law to throw a bag full of cats and dogs into the Parramatta River, but it's fine if you throw a bag full of either cats or dogs!(What difference does it make??)
The period of life sentence imprisonment in Australia is 200 years!(Who the hell is gonna live that long!!)
In Bangladesh, kids as young as 15 years old can be sentenced to jail if caught cheating in the finals.
Also, in Bangladesh, you must never call a person who is over the age of 32, a 'virgin' as they may get offended.
In Turkey, it is illegal for a person to fall in love with the neighbor's son, daughter, wife, servant or even the animals!
In Turkey again, You can be sentenced to jail for a period of 2 years if you steal olives before they ripe!
In Saudi Arabia, any man who doesn't earn a "reasonable" income is put in jail.
It is a serious offense in Saudi Arabia, if a woman appears publicly, unless accompanied by a male guardian.
Any child born in the city of 'Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch' in Wales, should be able spell the name of the town till the age of 6, and pronounce it till the age of 34.
In Russia, anyone who refuses to work less than 16 hrs a day can be subjected to imprisonment.
In Russia, again, it is illegal to brush your teeth more than 2 times in a day.
In Japan, if a man asks a woman on a date, she cannot say no.
Also, in Japan, if an older brother wishes to marry your girlfriend in the name of law and honor, both you and your girlfriend must agree to that.
If you are caught littering in Singapore more than 3 times, the penalty is to clean the streets on Sunday with a bib on saying, "I am a litterer." This is also shown on the local news.
In Israel, picking your nose on a Saturday is illegal.
It is forbidden for a chicken to lay eggs on a Friday or Saturday.
In Morocco, it is illegal to kill a mouse, unless you are killing it for consumption.
In China, it is not allowed to rescue a drowning person as it is considered as an act which interferes with their fate.
In Scotland, it is illegal to kill an Englishman, except if you are doing it just for pleasure!
In Scotland again, if you own more than 12 sheep, it is mandatory to prove that you are not a "pimp".

I always thought laws were made to make people's life easier and were based on observing a large amount of collective actions and then formed to stop them. The aforementioned list of stupid laws make no sense to me at least! I hope the one's who framed these weird laws have a valid reason. Whatever the reason was, for now, I hope you read them and enjoyed these statements as much as I did writing them.