College Writing 1280
22 September 2013
The Depths of Assisted Suicide
On May 21st, 2010, 41-year-old Ethan Remmel, a developmental psychologist and associate professor at Western Washington University, was diagnosed with incurable, stage four colon cancer. Monday, June 13th, 2011 Ethan passed away, becoming one of 255 terminally ill individuals to voluntarily die with the help of a physician in Washington. He decided to take advantage of the state’s legislation allowing assisted suicide and left behind two sons, ages eight and three. He made his decision after suffering through excruciating pain for over a year, while the cancer spread to his bones and left him with severe fatigue, causing him to not be able to enjoy his life. “…It's not possible to live well when you feel too sick and tired to do anything or enjoy anything…”, stated Ethan in his blog on March 23rd, 2011. He didn’t want his body or mind to deteriorate to the point where he couldn’t spend time with his kids, explained his partner, Grace Wang (Aleccia).
Assisted suicide is defined as a controversial medical and ethical issue based on the question of whether, in certain situations, medical practitioners should be allowed to help patients actively determine the time and circumstances of their death. An assisted suicide is usually a situation where a patient is terminally ill, and a doctor prescribes a lethal dose of medication for the patient to ingest when they choose. Another way this is done is when the doctor discontinues giving certain treatment, at request of the patient. The conflict of whether assisted suicide is right or wrong has many different branches in the aspects of ethical, social, and legal issues, often with two main arguments; on the supporting side, people say that everyone should have the right to decide the time, place, and circumstances of his/her death, while the opposing side of this issue state that assisted suicide infers that certain people’s lives are...
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