The Right to Commit Physician-Assisted Suicide

Topics: Suffering, Suicide, Suicide methods Pages: 5 (1685 words) Published: September 28, 2012
The Right to Commit Physician-Assisted Suicide

Physician-assisted suicide is suicide by a patient facilitated by means or information (as a drug prescription or indication of the lethal dosage) provided by a physician who is aware of how the patient intends to use such means or information (“Physician-assisted suicide”). Physician-assisted suicide should be accessible to the incurably ill patient. Allowing a patient to have this freedom could, for one, bypass tremendous pain and suffering. Also, the right to die should be a fundamental of each person, and this would give him or her that power. Another reason why it should be permitted is without physician assistance, people may commit suicide in a messy, horrifying, and traumatic way.

To begin, physician-assisted suicide is allowing a patient the freedom to bypass tremendous pain and suffering. When favoring this method some can see that life no longer counts as human life when its quality and meaning are gone (Forman 12). For starters, Doctors have enough knowledge and experience to know when a patient’s days are numbered, especially in a terminal cancer situation (Messerli). Some cancer can result in a slow, agonizing death. Letting a patient choose an easy escape route could help free them from the knowledge of knowing they are going to die soon. One could only imagine the psychological and physical pain they’d be in knowing they will be dying soon, but having to still suffer. If the body should the signs and the doctor and patient know how long it’s going to last; why make them suffer through those few months they have left?

Furthermore, by allowing physician-assisted suicide to bypass suffering, patients would be able to rid themselves of psychological distress (Messerli). Quality of life judgments are private and personal, thus only the sufferer can make relevant decisions (Humphry, “Liberty and Death…”). Having to think about dying everyday would cause a person to become overly depressed. Depression only adds on to the physical suffering. For example, depression causes sleepiness, drowsiness, agitation or irritability, tendency to isolate oneself, trouble concentrating, thoughts of suicide, and fatigue. All of these symptoms would make any body ache even worse. By using physician-assisted suicide one could avoid most of the psychological agony.

In the same way, physician-assisted suicide bypasses the endless physical suffering (Messerli). The degree to which physical pain can be tolerated is different in all humans (Humphry, “Liberty and Death…”). One could only imagine the pain they’d be in if they were constantly enduring pain spasms, losing control of organ systems, and even endless coughing (Messerli). There is no purpose in letting a human being suffer endlessly until their body decides to give out. It would be a more human choice to let the patients decide for themselves if they want to end the suffering or not. Why let a person struggle when they know the end is near?

Moving forward, the right to die should be a fundamental of each person, and allowing physician-assisted suicide would give him or her that power. Those who favor it often argue that personal autonomy includes the right to choose one’s own death (Forman 12). To begin, the United States is a free country, and, in no way, states in the constitution that suicide is illegal (Messerli). The government cannot legislate morality. People live here for these types of reasons. They wanted a place that they could be their own person, and make their own decisions. Humankind has an ultimate civil and personal liberty, which is the right to die in a manner and at a time of their own choosing (Humphry, “Liberty and Death…”). If a person wants to end the suffering they have come to know so well they should be allowed to. The government has no idea the pain they are going through or the decisions.
Additionally, having the power to use physician-assisted suicide gives...
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