According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, assisted suicide is defined as suicide by a patient that has acquired a lethal dose of medication provided by a physician that is knowledgeable of the patient’s intentions. (Britannica 2011) Over the last two decades the issue of assisted suicide has become more prevalent because it is now legal in three states. There are two passionate sides to this controversial topic; one side believes that suicide for any reason is wrong and immoral because of religious reasons. The other side believes that each person should have the right to decide when and where and how they will die.
Assisted suicide is wrong. It is immoral and would lead to the killing of those who have not asked for it and therefore cheapen the value of human life. The estimated average cost of doctor assisted suicide is fifty dollars. To give a patient that might be seriously ill or even terminally ill could cost $500,000 or more. The bottom line could be used by a doctor to determine whose life is more important and worth the cost. It is believed that there are no guidelines or laws, in place or that could be put in place that would be able to protect citizens from this kind of abuse. (Smith, June 2006)
Another opponent belief of assisted suicide is the question of are the safeguards being followed. What happens to the unused drugs that have been prescribed? Are they just sitting in the medicine cabinet leading to a disaster if the wrong person took them? Is the patient who requested them actually the one taking them? Only sixty four percent of the known patients to have received the lethal drugs are known to have died from them. There is a growing trend showing that some patients are receiving these prescriptions from an unfamiliar source. That shows that there are ways that patients are able to around one of the safeguards that are in place. This was supposed to be a decision between a long time doctor and the patient. The
Cited: Bowden, Thomas A. "Individuals Should Have a Legal Right to Choose Death" Current Controversies Series. Greenhaven Press, 2009. Opposing Viewpoints Web 30, Oct 2011. "Physician-assisted suicide." Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 2011. Web. 19 Nov. 2011. Enouen, Susan. "Legalized Assisted Suicide May Lead to Legalized Euthanasia." LifeIssues Connector (2007): Opposing Viewpoints. Web. 30 Oct 2011. Rogatz, Peter. “Legalizing Assisted Suicide Would Help Physicians Reduce the Suffering of Terminally Ill Patients" 2005. Opposing Viewpoints. Web 21 Nov 2011. Smith, Wesley. "The Right to Die Movement Supports Death on Demand." Weekly Standard. 27 Apr 2006. Opposing Viewpoints. Web. 30 Oct 2011.