Assisted Suicide

Topics: Suicide, Death, Oregon Death with Dignity Act Pages: 2 (720 words) Published: July 17, 2013
Matthew Donnelly was a man who had loved life, but Matthew Donnelly became a man that wanted to die. For the past thirty years, Matthew had conducted research on the use of X-rays. Now, skin cancer was consuming his tortured body. He had lost his nose, his left hand, two fingers on his right hand, and part of his jaw. He was left blind and was slowly deteriorating. The pain was unrelenting. Doctors estimated that he had a year to live. Lying in bed with teeth clenched from the excruciating pain, he pleaded to be put out of his misery. His pleas, however, went unanswered because of existing law in the state of Texas. One day, Matthew's brother Harold, who could no longer ignore Matthew's repeated cry for mercy, removed a .30 caliber pistol from his dresser drawer, walked into the hospital and shot and killed his brother. Harold was tried for murder. (Santa Clara University article) Had assisted suicide been legal in Texas, as it is in Oregon, Harold would not be in the position he is in today. Oregon was the first State to pass the law. In 1997 the Death with Dignity Act was implemented. This piece of legislation enables a competent adult who desires to end their life access to a lethal dose of medication which they administer themselves. In order for a person to qualify for assisted suicide in Oregon, they must be a legal adult and be capable of understanding the consequences of their decision. They must also have a prognosis of six months or less to live due to a terminal illness and have the backing of a registered physician (Volker, 2007). We have a moral obligation to relieve the suffering of our fellow human beings and to respect their right to die with dignity. Throughout most of our country today, terminally ill patients lie with incurable diseases and without the means to end their own suffering because the government tells them they can’t. These patients can only look forward to lives filled with yet more suffering and degradation. When such people beg...
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