Physician-Assisted Suicide: Should It Be Legalized?
We have countless rights protected by the United States such as freedom of speech, due process of law, and freedom of religion to name a few. Most importantly, we have the right to life. In the opening of the Declaration of Independence, the very thing our country was founded upon, it is said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription). We do not, however, have the right to die. We have no right to end our own life, particularly by way of physician-assisted suicide. Although there are many arguments to take into consideration physician-assisted suicide should most certainly be legalized; nevertheless, it should not be taken lightly and a number of safeguards should be in place. First, what we are talking about must be defined. Physician-assisted is where a doctor enables a terminally ill patient to end their own life. As an example, a doctor might prescribe a lethal dose of medicine for the patient to later choose to take (Gholipour). Physician-assisted suicide is legal in the United States only in Washington in Oregon. The patient must be terminally ill and agree to counseling and a waiting period to fully consider their decision to be considered for physician-assisted suicide in Oregon or Washington (B.C. Court of Appeal Upholds Ban on Assisted Suicide).This is not to be confused with euthanasia which is defined as "the act of bringing about the death of a hopelessly ill and suffering person in a relatively quick and painless way for reasons of mercy” by the Endlink Resource For End of Life Care Education (EndLink-Resource for End of Life Care Education). This definition leaves room for questions regarding the procedure of the death. What we are talking about here is physician assisted...
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