Assisted Suicide

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What indeed is assisted suicide? Some may think it is just another word for euthanasia; however, there is actually a difference. Based on the basic Dictionary.com definition, euthanasia is “intentionally causing the death of a person; the motive being to benefit that person or protect him/her from further suffering,” while assisted suicide is “helping a person kill him or herself”. In other words, the main difference between this and euthanasia is that in assisted suicide the patient is in complete control of the process that leads to death because he/she is the person who performs the act of suicide. The other person simply helps (for example, providing the means for carrying out the action). The earliest of assisted suicides trace back to the late 1980s, with a man named Dr. Jack Kevorkian, aka “Dr. Death”. As a man deeply infatuated with the idea of death, he was the first man to attempt physician-assisted suicide, assisting in over 130 deaths. He firmly believed that dying was not a crime, and promoted a human’s right to choose what to do with his or her life. He wrote in his 1959 journal his controversial ideas, including:
“I propose that a prisoner condemned to death by due process of law be allowed to submit, by his own free choice, to medical experimentation under complete anesthesia (at the time appointed for administering the penalty) as a form of execution in lieu of conventional methods prescribed by law”.
In 1987, Dr. Kevorkian began advertising for death counseling, and performed his first assisted suicide in Michigan, (because laws in that state did not yet ban assisted suicide), on Janet Adkins, a 54-year-old woman diagnosed in 1989 with Alzheimer’s disease. However, due to laws that were created to ban this type of suicide, his medical license was eventually revoked, and later on throughout his life, was put on probation and had to swear never to perform assisted suicide again. Until the end of his life, Kevorkian never let go of his

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