Journal 1: Initial Thoughts on Physician Assisted Suicide (February 28th, 2013)
The promotion of physician assisted suicide has sparked a debate throughout the world. From my point of view, assisted suicide is doctors assist patients who could not endure the pain of diseases and are voluntarily given lethal amount of substances resulting in death. However, physician assisted suicide might be considered to be deviant in many countries currently due to the religions, laws and the negative image. Also, the physicians who assist their patients to suicide might be labelled as "killers". For instance, Jack Kevorkian, who was known for successfully assisting more than 130 patients to end their lives, was charged with second degree murder and was sentenced to 8 years in prison (Murphy, 2011). Some people labeled him as a "serial killer". However, I personally respect him for being fearless to help his patients even though he was misunderstood by many.
As far as I am concerned, it is very sad when patients who suffer from unbearable pains cannot make the final decision in their lives – to die at the appointed time. My grandmother had Parkinson’s disease and one of her symptoms was tremor – shaking; she could feel the nerves twitching all the time, from head to toe. She requested to physicians with assisted suicide, almost begged them to. Nevertheless, the doctors could not have done anything for her due to the illegality of assisted suicide in China. Even though some people think that assisted suicide is unethical, as the patient and the patient's relatives, we would want the patient to relieve the pain if assisted suicide is the only choice out of limited options. Relatives should support the patients no matter what they choose at the end: fighting for the diseases or ending their lives. But again, in many countries, patients still do not have the right to end their lives.
It might seem cruel if the governments save money from assisting patients with incurable diseases who still have a chance to be rescued. Yet if this action could benefit a larger number of people, the governments should legalize assisted death; and it is the patients' right to end their lives. Thus, ensuring the terminal ill patient is voluntary and actually suffering from the pain is very important. I feel the following questions would be the most difficult questions for the governments to answer: who is eligible for performing assisted suicide and how cautious should the selection of physicians be? Also, as for the doctors, what if the patients change their mind and do not want to die anymore while being assisted with suicide? Should the physicians stop, or should they continue?
Since freedom has been described as the “oxygen of the soul” (Cohn, 2007), why cannot individuals make their last life-or-death decision? It is argued that when people certainly wish to die they would just suicide instead of require to be "assisted"; it is because...