Assisted Suicide

 

“My right to life, my right to die”. The United States Constitution clearly emphasizes, that every individual is born with the right to life.Whether or not we as a society should pass laws sanctioning “assisted suicide” has generated intense moral controversy. Currently, nation-wide assisted suicide is illegal, with exception to five states. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s not being done. Terminally ill patients, will ask their physicians for assistance as to how to end their lives. Just over 3 percent of U.S. doctors stated they have written a prescription for life-ending medication, according to an anonymous survey published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1998. Almost 5 percent of doctors reported giving a patient a lethal injection. Every individual deserves a dignified death.

Furthermore, it is argued, we ourselves have an obligation to relieve the suffering of our fellow human beings and to respect their dignity. Societies such as the Hemlock have been established to help those in search  for a dignified death, when no assistance has been provided.There have been numerous medical cases, where patients are lying in bed with their teeth clenched from the excruciating pain. No medication is remedy at this point. No matter their pleads to be put out of their overpowering misery, a simple law denies them such right. When individuals seek assistance in such situation there wishes must be respected.

Those who oppose any measures permitting assisted suicide argue that society has a moral duty to protect and to preserve all life. Nonetheless, religious views are not to be taken into consideration. The United States of  America, specifically states a separation between Church and State for a valid reason. Religious believes are all simply opinionated without a concrete based foundation. As to where, statistics have proven that even if prohibited by law, euthanasia still occurs. No matter what religious base the individual is. Most importantly those who oppose physician assisted suicide, and are not by anyway affected by such statute, should not have a say as to whether or not it should be practiced. If such individuals don’t not believe such actions are allowed within their religion, they should simply adhere to other ways of reliving their loved one if such situation were to occur. However, prohibiting others whom aren’t even known to them from such alleviation from unceasing pain is not a valid argument towards the prohibition of assisted death.

Many will argue that in place of assisting with suicide, there are resources such as end of life care. However, in such places euthanasia is practiced, just not under the name of euthanasia. For example, DNACPR is a type of passive euthanasia. Do not attempt cardiopulmonary recitation, is euthanasia in the sense that the person is asking for no medical assistance (treatment in other words) even if it may potentially save their lives. palliative sedation, can in fact be used to assist a patient in death. Such sedation  is typically used in victims of burns, who are expected to die shorty. It’s intention is not to kill the patient, however it could be argued that palliative sedation is a type of active euthanasia. This being because many of the sedative medication being used are responsible for speeding up death. The case for assisted suicide is a powerful one–appealing to our capacity for compassion and an obligation to support individual choice and self determination.

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