Assisted Suicide

Assisted Suicide :

Imagine you have just found out you are going to die within three months. Recently the questions have been changed form, "What am I going to do with the rest of my life?" to "When should I kill myself"? With painful and crippling diseases such as AIDS and cancer and Alzheimers along with doctors such as Dr. Kavorkian, some people are choosing death over life. Doctor assisted suicide has been a very controversial subject in the past few years. Some states such as Oregon have passed laws which allow doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to patients who have less than six months to live.(Henin 1) Other state have taken the opposite side. I believe that if you are able to reason and think rationally you should decide whether to live or dir. If not the people who know you best should make the decision.

If you are ever in a situation where you are now you will soon die the choice whether or not to kill yourself should be your own. I believe that doctor assisted suicide should not be controlled by the government, but should be a personal choice based on the individual. Many people could not imagine living in a hospital bed for the remainder of their lives. They would rather die with dignity than live out the rest of their lives dependent on others. The government thinks that they know what is best for the people. If everyone is an individual, how can the government know what is best for everyone. I feel that people should make up their own minds about what is best for them. Joshua Haney wrote an article on assisted suicide. He says, "Every day we make choices that decide our fate and future. We choose where we work, what we eat and drink, etc. This is just one more choice that we are making. I we take away this right from people we are taking steps towards taking away other rights. Would it be morally right to allow that person to suffer in pain in anguish through some terminal illness?"(Haney2) I completely agree with him.

What rights will they take away next?

One problem people face when they are seriously ill is the lack of money.

There always seems to be one more bill waiting to be paid. They need money to buy prescription drugs, pay for the doctor appointments, tests, and in some cases lengthy hospital stays. Some insurance companies will refuse to pay for certain test or drugs, or even refuse treatment altogether.

Many patients can't afford to pay for these treatments, and even if they could, most of the treatments only prolong life for a short amount of time.

There is also no guarantee that the quality of life during these treatments would be worked the time and money. No one wants to die in debt and leave their families with nothing but medical bills. If you don't wish to continue living in pain, why should you have to pay for treatment that you don't want?

When someone is sick it is hard on the whole family. When someone is dying they not only have to deal with their own pain and suffering, both physically and mentally but also with the suffering that their friends and family are going through. They might begin to feel like a burden, and may also begin to feel guilty and depressed. Because of this and many other reasons some may choose to die.

I am not saying that suicide id right for everyone, but I do think it should be an option when someone is suffering from a physical disease that has not cure or hopes of a cure in the near future.

I feel that it should be a personal decision, based on the wishes of the individual. The government and countless numbers of protesters should not claim to know what is right for everyone. They say it is inhumane for doctors to assist in his suicide, but I have to agree with A. Wilkie Kushner, who writes "We all die. Death is a part of life. Death is inevitable. Why should each of us not have the right to choose when and how we did and if we are in no position to do so, why should those who know us best not be allowed to help?

Why is it considered acceptable for hospital staff to indefinitely postpone death with machines and tubes and potent toxic pharmaceuticals and not to help people go easily when their time has come? Where is the humanity in all this?


Haney, Joshua, "RE: Assisted Suicide," 4/16/96

A. Wilkie Kushner, MB-Reprinted from Letters to the Editor, Gobe & Mail

Hendin, Herbert, MD, Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: Oregon Tries the Dutch Way,

Wellness Web, The Patient's Network,

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