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Assisted Suicide Essay

If you’re suffering from excruciating pain and there’s no hope you will recover and doctors are keeping you alive for as long as you can take for no reason, would you want them to “pull the plug”? Assisted suicide is mostly legal in 16 countries. In the U.S. assisted suicide is legal in Washington, Oregon, Vermont and Montana does not specifically address physician-assisted suicide but have no laws against it and physicians who practice it are shielded from prosecution. Assisted suicide is a controversy because too many people it’s against their religion. Assisted suicide is considered to be inhumane to some people because some people say that animals are put down, not human beings. Also some believe that some people might take advantage of assisted suicide. It’s a choice that some people might want to take if they’re suffering. Most of the people that are against assisted suicide say it’s because it’s against their religion. Others believe it is inhumane and say it violates a fundamental tenet of medicine by contradicting the doctor’s role as a healer to end a person’s life (murder) even if they are suffering. Assisted suicide should be legal everywhere because if you do not believe in it then you don’t have to choose that option, but people that believe in it should be able to choose.

Many physicians believe assisted suicide should be legal and terminally ill patients should have the choice to end their suffering. If you have the right to live, shouldn’t you have the right to die? If you have the right to live, shouldn’t you have the right to die? “When such people ask for assistance in exercising their right to die, their wishes should be respected” This quote from Claire Andre (page 1) is stating that someone who is asking to end their suffering from a terminal illness/disease that their wish should be honored and respected. Claire is trying to prove that assisted suicide should be respected if one has the desires to end their life but only from a terminally illness/disease. She is stating that it’s actually inhumane to keep someone alive as long as possible through medical treatment. If the doctors know that a patient won’t recover they should be able to ask the patient if they want the option of getting a high dose of medicine that will end their suffering.

Most people who are against assisted suicide have no reason besides that it’s against their religion because it’s “technically” suicide. Others say that it’s inhumane and it’s “technically” murder because you’re taking someone’s life. Also some people think that some people that are having family issues or people who are in debt might try to take advantage of assisted suicide. Dr. Ann McPherson, a 64-year-old GP from Oxford, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. After 14 years of being diagnosed she now has terminal pancreatic cancer and secondary cancer in her lungs. She is only taking her morphine and she does not receive cancer treatment anymore. “Assisted dying is something I have considered. I have no idea if I want it, that depends on how my dying goes. But I want it to be there.” “I feel very strongly that palliative care should include assisted dying, I call it assisted dying, not assisted suicide, because suicide has connotations of something bad, running away. I think the law is inhuman as it stands and I think the ­public is ahead of the lawmakers on this.” (Page 1) she believes that making it illegal to have a physician end ones suffering is inhumane and should be reconsidered.

Also no one would be able to take advantage of assisted suicide because there are protocols and you have to be terminally ill. To those who believe that assisted suicide “technically” suicide and against their religion are wrong. How can it be inhumane if it’s their choice to end their own suffering? If God loved you he wouldn’t want you to suffer through terminally illnesses/ diseases he would want you to be able to end your suffering. Dr. Ann McPherson calls it assisted dying because she believes that suicide is just as excuse to end your problems or run away. Maybe some people are just against assisted suicide because of the name and haven’t looked into it. Maybe if they used the name “Euthanasia” or “Assisted dying” more often people might look at it different.

Dr. Ann McPherson also has a husband, children, and grandchildren. She states that she wants her family to be there for her and she said “I don’t want to go to Zurich, to some anonymous facility; I would want to do it in my own bed. I have a husband, three children and five grandchildren and I would like them to be there if that is the route I go down, though I don’t want them to be directly involved. A professional should be able to do that.” (Page 2). She doesn’t want her family to take part in her death but if she was able to choose that path she would want her family to be there. Also if someone asked a physician to help them assist suicide and they were not terminally ill but they had life problems, they should and would be turned away. Assisted suicide is a way out of suffering from illness and diseases not life issues.

There have been only 5 countries to fully legalize assisted suicide and only 3 states (soon to be 4) in the United States. The other 11 countries have no law against suicide/ assisted suicide. Assisted suicide is starting to appear in many court cases around the world and is starting to be considered worldwide. Some countries have no laws about assisting a suicide or suicide itself but do have laws like “failure to assist a person in danger”, “an assisted with manslaughter”, “accessory to murder”, and even “murder” is brought up in cases that involves someone assisting someone in suicide. While Oregon, Washington State, Vermont and Montana permit physician-assisted suicide, Montana’s Supreme Court determined that assisted suicide is a medical treatment. “We find no indication in Montana laws that physician aid in dying provided to terminally ill, mentally competent adult patients is against public policy” and therefore, the physician who assists is shielded from criminal liability by the patient’s consent.”(Page 1)

The Montana Supreme Court states that physicians may assist patients in ending their lives with a high dosage of legal drugs. “The state’s living-will law provides the basis for the practice” said by the Montana Supreme Court (page 1). Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, and the United States (Washington, Oregon, Vermont, and Montana) have legalized assisted suicide. More countries are starting to move toward legalizing assisted suicide/ euthanasia. In 1997 Colombia’s Supreme Court ruled that penalties/ criminal offenses for mercy killing should be removed. They haven’t legalized assisted suicide but are leading towards it.

In the United Kingdom a man named Martin who is 46 years old suffered from a brainstem stroke. He is completely paralyzed everywhere except for his eyelids. He has a computer in which he stares at 24/7, that recognizes one letter at a time as Martin blinks and stares at it. He uses his eyes to spell out his desires, frustrations and anger on his computer. He wants to go to court for an assurance that any professional person/ physician who helps him to die/”pull the plug” will not be prosecuted. The doctors said that he could live for years in his state and even his wife is trying to help him fight for the right to die. He describes his life as “S-H-I-T” and he just wants to die (page 1). The United Kingdom’s laws are suicide is not a crime but assisting a suicide is. Martin is fighting for his right to die and the United Kingdom is debating it. This shows that more and more countries are starting to consider legalizing assisted suicide and they are realizing that in some situations it should be allowed.

Assisted suicide should be legalized, allowed, and accepted everywhere .More and more countries are legalizing assisted suicide every year. There should be a choice for someone who is terminally ill and suffering to end their life without anyone being prosecuted. If you don’t believe in assisted suicide then you don’t have to choose that option. A person who is suffering from a terminal illness/disease should have the right to die, no doubt. If you believe it’s inhumane to end ones suffering how is it not inhumane to keep someone who is suffering alive by a machine keeping them alive. If suicide is against your religion then you don’t have to choose assisted suicide, but would God really want you to suffer, no. Also if the name “assisted suicide” is the reason you’re against it, call it euthanasia. If you believe that it violates a fundamental tenet of medicine by contradicting the doctor’s role as a healer to end a person’s life (murder) even if they are suffering, you are most definitely wrong.

It’s inhumane to keep someone alive who is suffering and have asked you to end their suffering by using an overdose of medicine to make their passing painless and quick. If you have the right to live, shouldn’t you have the right to die? The answer is yes because why/how can it be a crime to commit suicide or assist suicide by a physician? How can you possibly be punished and also why should a Judge be able decide whether you live or not? Assisted suicide should be legal and not have to have a Judge decide your life. Some people might say its “technically” suicide and some people might say its “technically” murder. How on earth is it either of those? First off you are just trying to end your suffering if you choose assisted suicide and a physician assisting a patient’s suicide/death isn’t (should not be considered) murder. The physician is just helping them ease away their suffering. All around the world countries are debating whether or not to legalize assisted suicide. More countries every year are legalizing it and already 4 states of the United States have approved it. In some countries if you assist a suicide you could be charged from “failure to assist someone in danger” to “murder”.

Most people who have been charged with assisting a suicide were let off. The charges were acquitted but not after fighting them in court. Learning more about assisted suicide and suicide in general would give more people more knowledge about assisted suicide and why it should be legalized. Most people were taught very young that killing yourself/someone is very bad so every time the topic about assisted suicide by physician comes up they say it’s wrong to kill yourself and it’s wrong to kill someone. They do not have the slightest clue that assisted suicide is helping suffering people and their families watch them suffer. It would bring peace to the person who is suffering and to their family to know that their suffering has ended. So shouldn’t we have the right to die, if we also have the right to live? If you are suffering from a terminally illness/disease or terrible accident where you can no longer eat, clean, use the bathroom, change clothes, and even adjust yourself wouldn’t you want the option of assisted suicide.


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