Physician Assisted Suicide – a Right to Kill

Topics: Health care, Health care provider, Medicine Pages: 4 (1310 words) Published: July 26, 2008
Throughout the 21st century, the progress of medical advancement has greatly enhanced the quality of human beings’ lives. However, certain illnesses still remain incurable, from which some people are afflicted with great and constant physical distress. The question becomes whether or not the patients have the freedom to choose terminating their lives because the prolonging of life may consist of only pain and suffering. This is the basic idea of physician assisted suicide (PAS). PAS has raised heated debate and antagonism between different groups, and it is also one of the most controversial issues in our society nowadays. Advocates have a variety of justifications and explanations for PAS. They claim that patients don’t want to go through the suffering caused by terminal illness, so they deserve more control of their own lives. They argue that terminally ill patients should not lose their right to choose when, where or how to end their life. Supporters also contend that the expense of treatment will become a financial burden to patients’ families. With these strong arguments, it seems that the notion of physician-assisted suicide prevails. Supporters often focus on issues of self-determination; however, we must separate our own personal wishes for what we hope to have available for ourselves should we fall ill from the potential dangers of physician assisted suicide for all society. Upon deeper inspection, we find that there are many reasons why physician-assisted suicide is a serious mistake. Physician assisted suicide can be one means of saving medical care cost; lethal medication for assisted suicide is much cheaper than the expense of long-term treatment. "Drugs used in assisted suicide cost only about $40, but it could take $40,000 to treat a patient properly so that they want the "choice" of assisted suicide," said Wesley J. Smith, senior fellow at the Discovery Institute. This knowledge may push the patient to accelerate the process and choose death....
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