Assisted Suicide BY EN2013 Assisted Suicide I Running Read: Assisted Suicide Assisted Suicide: Pros and Cons Assisted suicide is one of the most controversial topics of today. I will provide two sides of this issue. My goal is to reach those close-minded individuals who are unable to see both sides of the issue and then take a stance. This issue may be a little hard to grasp especially for those who are spiritually minded whose beliefs conflict with the idea of assisted suicide. According to an opinion presented on www. debatewise. org “Death is an option that people should have because death is imilar to the options we already have.
We are allowed to take risky choices for our own benefit, such as tobacco, or alcohol, as long as we know the consequences of the act. Similarly, choosing death is one form of choice that has benefits with minimal risk, and we do not see why death is an exception”. I agree with this because everyday people do things fully aware of the consequences of their actions. The person who gave their opinion cited tobacco and alcohol but for me the list is more extenslve. For Instance women nave tne rlgnt to an aoortlon aesplte tne controversy urrounding it. Women choose to have their tubes tied when they decide they do not want any more children.
People still choose to drive drunk fully aware of the possible consequences. Why should assisted suicide be treated differently? People who want to end their life do not make such a decision hastily in my opinion. I think that the emotional suffering that they face weighs them down. I believe that they may feel compelled to end their life not only due to the physical pain and suffering but because they feel like a burden to their families and they don’t want to be. The roponents for assisted suicide feel that as long as certain guidelines are put in place then there is no reason why assisted suicide should not be legalized.
Some of these guidelines are as follows: Patients who are diagnosed to have a terminally ill disease and suffer from unbearable pain may choose to do so. The patient is informed of all of the consequences of euthanasia. Diagnosis from an independent doctor as to the capacity of patient to make a rational decision. Must show his/her will to die on his/her own is a choice that is not forced. Must be over the legal age. Those against Assisted Suicide feel that by legalizing this there would be more harm than good especially in the area of our health care system.
In order to cut some of the high cost involved in the treatment of those with life threatening illnesses those against assisted suicide feel that the patients will be pressured to end their life. The impact of legalizing assisted suicide would have the greatest impact on economically disadvantaged people who don’t have the greatest access to health care. Diane Coleman, President and Founder of Not Dead Yet states that “legalizing assisted uicide means that some people who say they want to die will receive suicide intervention, while others will receive suicide assistance.
The difference between these two groups of people will be their health or disability status, leading to a two- tiered system that results in death to the socially devalued group” (Coleman, 2002). Taking from one of the sources, here is the opinion verbatim: Assisted suicide purports to be about free choice and self-determination. But there is significant danger that many people would take this “escape” due to external pressure. For xample, elderly individuals who dont want to be a financial or caretaking burden on their families might choose assisted death.
In Oregon’s third year Report, “a startling 63% of [reported cases] cited fear of being a ‘burden on family, friends or caregivers’ as a reason for their suicide” (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2001). Also very troubling, research has documented widespread elder abuse in this country. The perpetrators are often family members (National Elder Abuse Incidence Study, 1996). 4 such abuse could easily lead to pressures on elders to “choose” assisted suicide. Still others would undergo assisted suicide because they lack good health care, or in-home support, and are terrified about going to a nursing home.
As Diane Coleman noted regarding Oregon’s law, “Nor is there any requirement that sufficient home and community-based long-term care services be provided to relieve the demands on family members and ease the individual’s feelings of being a ‘burden’ The inadequacy of the in-home long-term care system is central to the assisted suicide and euthanasia debate” (Coleman, 2002, p. 224). While the proponents of legalization argue that it would guarantee choice, assisted suicide ould actually result In aeatns Oue to a lack 0T cnolce.
Real cnolce would require adequate home and community-based long-term care; universal health insurance; housing that is available, accessible, and affordable; and other social supports. In conclusion, according to Dr. Salwitz in Oregon where assisted suicide is legal only 1 out of 750 use it. If this is the case then I feel that there is no harm in allowing it to be an option for people as long as they are of sound mind. Who am I to take that right away from someone? Spiritually I believe in the power of healing. But I can’t orce someone else to believe the way that I do.
So I feel that we must respect a person’s wishes. The pain that they are suffering may be too much for them to bear. Maybe they have prayed and made peace with their higher being and choose assisted suicide. References: www. euthanasia. procon. org www. debatewise. org MD, Salwitz, James C. Argument against Physician-Assisted Suicide (October 31 , 2013) Coleman, Diane, J. D. 2002. “Not Dead Yet,” in the Case against Assisted Suicide – For the Right to End-of-Life Care. Ed. Kathleen Foley and Herbert Hendin. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press