Assisted Suicide, The Easy Way Out?

762 words - 3 pages

Assisted Suicide, the Easy Way Out?Is it right to allow someone to die, rather than to let that person to die naturally? Is there a right to kill in the name of compassion? Assisted suicide is when a person commits suicide with the assistance of others, usually a doctor. Baby boomers are getting older and the need for end of life care is increasing (Humphry/ Clement 236). At the present, end of life care is at an inadequate quality to be able to comfortably assist those who will need it in the coming years. Assisted suicide is an answer to the suffering that many of the elderly experience. But is it an ethically moral answer?It can be seen that modern medicine allows for a longer life but with more suffering; we now live "far longer than we can take care of ourselves," (Hardwig 236). Assisted suicide is a way that people can end their suffering and do so in the way that and at the time that they choose. With more and more painful and crippling diseases such as Alzheimer's, neurological diseases, and AIDS a debate is rising if there is the right to choose to die."This should be our time of letting go and deepest insight, not a time of agony, stupor, undignified dependence... Must we become slaves to our failing bodies (Rifkin 226)"? Rational human beings should have the right to determine their own health care according to their personal wishes, values and beliefs, as long as such a determination does not jeopardize the safety or well being of any other person. An elderly person in the hospital with no family or friends to see them would not harm any other person.It is also shown that, "the better the [end of life] care gets, the less the need [for assisted suicide] will exist," (Girsh 209). The legalization of the doctor-assisted suicide in Oregon has shown this.People already encourage death by treating the body badly; such habits as smoking, eating unhealthy amounts of unhealthy foods, and not exercising put stress on the body and heart (Rifkin 225). Passive euthanasia is already allowed:Physicians are permitted to treat their patients by disconnecting life support or by prescribing medication to ease their starvation. Yet medications to produce a quick death, free of pain and protracted agony, are prohibited. This is a difference without distinction...

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