In the 1990s, ‘Doctor Death’ Jack Kevorkian invented the first assisted suicide machine in the world. He was then thrown into prison for 7 years (Pickert). This caught people’s attention and made them question whether it should be legal to request physician assisted suicide, which is when someone asks a physician to help him or her terminate his or her life. This topic became one of the most popular discussions in recent years, but the truth is that it has actually been a centuries- old debate. For both logical and humanitarian reasons, assisted suicide is not right and should not be legalize.
Is it right for a nation founded on Christianity to allow citizens to choose assisted suicide? Can a decision that is made by a mentally ill person be treated as a rational decision? Is the prevention of pain an acceptable circumstance in which to end a life? People still do not have a widely accepted answer. It is not clear whether physician assisted suicide is right or wrong.
Assisted suicide should not be viewed solely as affecting one life, but should be viewed as a decision that affects many. The declaration of independence states that everyone has the right to pursue happiness In whatever way they choose. Many argue that a decision to kill oneself is a private choice, that society should not be, and has no right to be concerned. America believes that with its freedom, people can do almost everything based on their own choices. Physician assisted suicide is also one of the choices that they can decide. The common argument is that these people are adults who can make rational and reasonable choices, however many people who request physician assisted suicide are mentally ill. Of those who attempt suicide but were unsuccessful, less than 4 percent go on to kill themselves in the future, which means that most people changed their mind after a period of recovery. Psychological evidence shows that those who ask for physician assisted suicide in order to avoid pain are normally ambivalent, and they usually attempt to end their life for other reasons than a settled desire to die. Since assisted suicide has already become a popular way to end suffering and pain, people who were in the status might feel it is necessary for them to kill themselves since they have in their mind become a burden to their family and society. Some would say it is wrong for such an impression to have the power to persuade a personto end their life due to their weakness and disability.
As a Christian nation, America wants a positive and happy image for the country. American people value the meaning of life, and According to what most of the Christians believe, God is the one who created life. Then how can people have the right to end something that they did not even create in the first place? American society does not think assisted suicide is good as a whole, because assisted suicide is still a self-caused death, which is equal to suicide. Although there is always a vague line drawn between assisted suicide and attempted murder. Assisted suicide is the opposite of happiness because it demonstrates utter depression. It is clear that American society sees assisted suicide as wrong, because there is a suicide watch team among the police and counselors at schools who are trained to help and avert suicide.
Asking for assisted suicide as a form of pain relief and signing a release form is not acceptable either. People cannot solve problems by trying to get rid of them. People who stand against physician-assisted suicide believe that suffering is just a stage of life. And lots of people who were prevented from assisted suicide will tell you that they all passed that stage successfully, and they are appreciative that they were stopped from asking for physician-assisted suicide.
Assisted suicide also hurts the people who care about those who were asking for a physician assisted suicide. Patients might get relived from their long suffering and pain but their family will be hurt from one’s immature decision. The person only thought of their own feelings and never considered others who are around them and how they feel. Families and loved ones will be upset about their decision to take their lives in a selfish act. Other evidence that shows assisted suicide is wrong is the fact that there are always suicide prevention billboards in communities. This should show the government that people do not want those around them to commit suicide.
People who fight for the right to have physician-assisted suicide argue that assisted suicide can bring benefits to both patients and society. They believe that people who choose assisted suicide will die with dignity rather than suffer the pain of illness( O’Steen, Burke). That they will not let their family and friends suffer anymore by showing their weakness and sickness. By choosing assisted suicide, patients can also reduce a huge amount of medical expenses that insurance does not cover. To benefit society, their organs can be donated to save people’s lives (Humphrey). Doctors and nurses can spend more time on recovering patients rather than waste time on patients who are assured death, and of course, they still think it is a part of one’s freedom to be able to choose for himself whether to live or die. Whether it is one’s rational decision to chose to end their life has always been the center of this debate. Because without arguing about one’s free right, those who favor assisted suicide will lose an important statement.
Although there is a ton of evidence showing that physician assisted suicide is not right, it is a fact that so many people are still in favor to legalize assisted suicide. They believe that rather than give people hope to live, telling them the truth and offering them an option is more reasonable. They argued that in some ways, it is humane to give dying people assisted suicide; society is okay with people helping a sick or dying animal yet people are not okay with letting a sick and dying patient go. It was said that humans are too selfish to let their loved ones go, even if death would be a comfort. People who think it is illegal for a physician to offer assisted suicide are accused of wanting to control other people’s lives. People think that one has his/her own will about their life that no one is suppose to tell them what they should do and should not do.
Especially when their faith to live is completely gone. It was understood as a merciful behavior for a physician to offer help to end one’s life. A new statement was also brought up to argue in the favor of legalize assisted suicide. It is that if one can reject medical treatment to prolong life then why can’t one request treatment to end it? Many people found this statement be reasonable and useful to support the legalization of physician-assisted suicide. After centuries’ debating, there is still no certain answer for those questions that are brought up by the topic of assisted suicide. Two sides are still debating about the benefits and negative effects of assisted suicide. Still to this day no one is able to convince the either group to change their views on this topic. In 2006, the US Supreme Court ruled that legalizing assisted suicide is to be the responsibility of each state respectively. No one can yet predict how long this topic will still be an argumentative topic for debate, And no one can predict how this issue will effect human life in the future. But overall, do people really possess the right to kill a life that was not created by them? It is still a big question that no one has yet given an answer that can satisfy everyone. Maybe one-day people will find out the right answer and that assisted suicide will be a new thing that brings benefits to the world. Physician suicide should be banned due to its negative cause and impaction to society. People who think assisted suicide should be illegalized because of the value of life to a society is still the majority; ending a life is not so simple that people should decide to do so on their own.
Pickert, Kate. “A brief history of assisted suicide.” a brief history of assisted suicide. N.p., 3 Mar. 2009. Web. 13 Sept. 2013. .
Humphry, Derek. “Liberty and Death: A manifesto concerning an individual’s right to choose to die.” Assisted Suicide – Information on right-to-die and euthanasia laws and history. N.p., 24 Mar. 2009. Web. 18 Sept. 2013. “Declaration of Independence – Text Transcript.” National Archives and Records Administration. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2013. O’Steen, David N. , and Burke J. Balch. “Why We Should Not Legalize Assisted Suicide | New York State Right to Life.” Welcome | New York State Right to Life. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2013.
Information on right-to-die and euthanasia laws and history. N.p., 24 Mar. 2009. Web. 18 Sept.2013. .