Assisted Suicide - Introduction

Topics: Suicide, Death, Assisted suicide Pages: 6 (1887 words) Published: January 7, 2012

"No person is entitled to consent to have death inflicted on him, and such consent does not affect the criminal responsibility of any person by whom death may be inflicted on the person by whom consent is given.”, this is according to the Indiana Code of Criminal Law and Procedure.

In ancient days, assisted suicide was frequently seen as a way to preserve one’s honor. For the past twenty-five years, on the other hand, the practice has been viewed as a response to the progress of modern medicine. New and often expensive medical technologies have been developed that prolong life. However, the technologies also prolong the dying processes, leading some people to question whether modern medicine is forcing patients to live in unnecessary pain when there is no chance they will be cured. Despite the changes in modern medicine, the attitudes toward assisted suicide in America’s courts and legislatures have not altered considerably. Debate over assisted suicide nearly always centers on the “slippery slope” argument. This argument holds that permitting one behavior will lead to a series of increasingly dangerous behaviors. Critics argue that if voluntary assisted suicide is legalized for competent, terminally ill adults, the acceptance of involuntary euthanasia for incompetent, elderly, or uninsured people will follow. Assisted-suicide advocates contend that the slippery-slope argument is fallacious. They argue that legalizing assisted suicide would not place patients’ right to life at risk because America is founded on democratic values that would ensure the rights of all citizens. Assisted Suicide is defined as an attempt to take one's own life with the intentional assistance of another person. It is a form of euthanasia in which a person wishes to commit suicide but feels unable to perform the act alone because of a physical disability or lack of knowledge about the most effective means. An individual who assists a suicide victim in accomplishing that goal may or may not be held responsible for the death, depending on local laws. The participation of health professionals, especially physicians, in assisted suicide is controversial. Nowadays, assisted suicide is still debatable if it will be legalized or not. However, in Philippines, since it is a religious country. Assisted suicide remains prohibited for no one can take away one’s life except God and it is clearly stated in the Ten Commandments, ‘Thou shall not kill’. Assisted Suicide or Physician-assisted suicide has its proponents and its opponents. Among the opponents are some physicians who believe it violates the fundamental principle of medicine and believe that doctors should not assist in suicides because to do so is incompatible with the doctor's role as a healer. Physician-assisted suicide is often abbreviated PAS. It is called doctor-assisted suicide in the UK. The debate over whether assisted suicide should be legalized in the United States—a nation considerably larger and more diverse than the Netherlands—is not likely to be resolved in the near future. People on both sides of the issue will undoubtedly pay close attention to developments in Oregon, and perhaps other states, in an effort to bolster their side of the slippery-slope argument.

Many have argued that it would be worse, morally speaking, for health care professionals to engage in assisted suicide, than others because it would weaken the basic values of the health professions. Others argue that these values include providing relief from suffering and that there are rare times when death is the only means of achieving this goal. Germany actually accepts assisted suicide but is against euthanasia, largely because of the issue of patient control. If the patient is performing, the action that leads to death it is more likely that this was a voluntary choice for the patient. Thus, there is less risk of abuse. Many people thought that assisted suicide and euthanasia is the...
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