Right to Die

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The Right To Die

Imagine that you have come down with a disease and you have just been told that there is no cure. There in your hospital bed all you can think about is the pain and the agony you are going to have to endure for the rest of your remaining life. I for one know that I do not want to spend my last times on this earth in pain and discomfort, knowing that I will never walk again, or feed myself, or maybe ever even come back to consciousness. For years, doctors have been prohibited from helping patients to take their own lives. I believe that a terminally ill patient should have the right to decide if they have had enough. By legalizing euthanasia, also referred to as physician assisted suicide, tremendous pain and suffering of patients can be saved. The right to die should be a fundamental freedom to each person. Patients should have to right to die with their dignity intact rather than have their illness leave them as merely a shell of their former selves. These are just a few of the reasons as to why every individual should have the right to die if they are terminally ill.

Numerous ailments such as certain types of cancer result in a slow, agonizing death. Doctors have enough knowledge and experience to know when a patient's days are numbered. What purpose would it serve to suffer endlessly until the body finally gives out? Imagine what it would be like to spend six months vomiting, coughing, enduring pain spasms, losing control of excretory functions, etcetera. Then you must consider the psychological suffering; the knowledge that a patient knows he's definitely going to die and the pain is only going to get worse. Wouldn't it be more humane to give the patient the option to say when he's had enough? Tremendous pain and suffering of patients can be avoided.

Nowhere in the constitution does it state or imply that the government has the right to keep a person from committing suicide. After all, if the patient and the family agree it's what they want to do, who's business is it anyway? Who else is it going to hurt? In a country that's supposedly free, this should be a fundamental right of each person.

Dying patients sometimes lose all ability to take care of themselves. Vomit, drool, urine, feces, and other indignities must be attended to by nursing assistants. Alzheimer's patients suffer from progressively worse dementia that causes memory loss and incoherent rambling. Virtually all people want others' last memory of them to be how they once were, not what they ended up being. For example, Ronald Reagan died of Alzheimer's. He and his family would like people to remember the brave man that stared down the Soviets, and was known as the "The Great Communicator" who provided historic leadership to our country. Other patients and families have the same wishes for themselves. We should let people die with their dignity, pride, and self-worth intact.

Health care costs can be reduced, which would save estates and lower insurance premiums. Most people who pay regular premiums on health care have noticed a major increase in costs over the last decade. We regularly debate how to provide cheaper prescription drugs, care for the uninsured, and fight the skyrocketing costs. Anything we can do to reduce that burden helps. Consider the huge cost of keeping a dying patient alive for several months. You must pay for x-rays, lab tests, drugs, hospital overhead, and medical staff salaries. It is not unheard of for medical costs to equal $50,000-100,000 to keep some patients alive. We have to ask ourselves, is this the best way to spend our money when the patient himself would like to die? Wouldn't the money be better spent on the patients that can be saved? You also have to consider the drag on a dying patient's estate. Most people want to be able to leave their children and grandchildren with something when they die. Medical costs eat into that estate. It's totally unreasonable to pour this kind of money...
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