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An Essay On Assisted Suicide

1202 words - 5 pages

It is uncommon today to hear people campaign for or against assisted suicide on televisions and in streets. Those supporting this act argue that a person, who is terminally ill and in severe pain, may decide that death is a better option. They also propose that these people have their freedom of choice and should be left to determine their destiny and therefore it is important that the society respects their wish.Assisted suicide can be defined as the fight for the right to die. Patients are administered drugs by their physicians to end their own lives. Assisted suicide is related to Euthanasia which comes from the Geek language; eu which means ‘good’ and thanatos which means ‘death’. It is the termination of person’s life with request from the person who wishes to commit suicide.Euthanasia can be classified as under passive, active, physician assisted suicide and the involuntary euthanasia. Active euthanasia can be described as causing death to a person by use of direct actions as requested by them. Physician assisted suicide on the other hand refers to the practice of supplying information to the patient from the physician. For instance, a physician may offer an overdose prescription to patients. The killing of a person without their consent refers to involuntary euthanasia. This is commonly done to patients in a vegetative state whose recovery is not possible (Robert, 1997).Assisted Suicide has sparked debates all over the world and no conclusion has been made; especially physicians have been faced with one challenges of whether euthanasia is a virtue or a vice. The practice is often committed though not widely. Euthanasia traces its origin back in the ancient history. Hippocrates mentioned it in their Hippocratic Oath written between 300 and 400 B.C. The oath states that ‘To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause death (http://www.religioustolerance.org/euth1.htm).The Greeks and Romans were tolerant of suicide in cases whereby no further assistance could be offered to the patient on the death bed, hence they did not believe in the preservation of life in such a situation. From the year 1300’s to today, the English law has disapproved assisted suicide. In the modern history, the first anti euthanasia law to be enacted in the United States was introduced in the state of New York. Euthanasia societies were also established in England and the United States of America in the year 1935 and 1938 respectively and 1937 and were also declared legal in Switzerland.The post war period experienced the 1940’s and 1950s Nazi euthanasia which was involuntary. Church leaders spoke strongly against this act especially the Catholic Church. In 1990 Dr. Jack Kevorkian made headlines all over the world for his practice of euthanasia to his parents; and n 1994, Oregon voters passed a bill on the doctor assisted suicide that was eventually approved. The Supreme Court then went ahead and...

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