Assisted Suicide Essay

1966 words - 8 pages

A large percent of terminally ill patients ponder their impending death, no matter the diagnosis. Mental illness or degenerative disabilities are the majority of the cases involved in ‘assisted-suicide,’ which is the process of ending their life with help from another person. Assisted suicide, despite the chronic or degenerative illness, has caused great controversy. The debate arises when the question about whether or not the practice should be legalized is asked. Some say that every person has a God given right to do what they want with their bodies, when they want to do it. Others say that palliative staffs should be focusing on studying better ways to eliminate pain and make the process of passing on easier and more endurable. Palliative care for these terminally ill patients ensures comfort as an alternative to assisted suicide. Death is a rather difficult topic to discuss, especially because most people would not like to think about all of the different issues that could arise in the last couple of years of their life. Mercy-killing should not be legalized of many reasons, including the fact that legalizing voluntary euthanasia means legalizing involuntary euthanasia, because on occasion medical staffs do not provide thorough or sufficient care for patients, and because it would cause the idea to become meaningless and lackluster.
Allowing voluntary euthanasia means allowing involuntary euthanasia. Individuals who are not mentally or physically adept can make the decision to die by physician assisted suicide, but the question that remains regards whether or not they are making rational, thought-out decisions. A new law that is being passed proposes that people who are ‘not mentally adept’ should not be lavished with the choice of physician assisted suicide, and that is only if assisted suicide should be considered legal. In order to be ‘mentally adept’, one has to be without any mental, psychological, or physical disabilities and illnesses. Physicians and doctors deem requests for death made by people who are ‘not mentally adept’ not rational, well thought-out decisions. As Mr. Buchanan includes in his article, Waiting Around to Die, “…We want to limit suicide to those who are unarguably rational…” (Buchanan, 2). This calls for the medical staff to go to the next of kin; a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, anyone who can be held accountable for the person with a disability. But no one can say that another person should decide the fate of someone else. If a doctor cannot do it, certainly no one else should be deciding. Lest the actual patient grants the permission to someone else to decide, none other than the patient himself should be deciding the fate of said person. At that point, the permission would not even be taken seriously because of the person’s lack of ‘adeptness’. One also has to take into account that the elderly are included in this labeled group. Quite contrary to belief, a study established that end-of-life issues,...

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