Death with dignity is a phenomenon widely discussed in literature due to its controversial nature. According to Szabo (2016), the supporters of physician-aid-in-dying have succeeded in legalizing it in five states. On the one hand, assisted death may be considered a form of suicide, which is illegal and immoral. Moreover, the law questions the sanctity of life may give too much power to doctors and can lead to decreased quality of care to terminally ill patients (BBC, n.d.).
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On the other hand, the supporters of the law claim that assisted death is not a suicide, and it allows more end-of-life options for terminally ill patients (Szabo, 2016). They believe that people have the right to choose which way they want to end their life. At present, terminally ill patients end their lives at home with their families or at hospices (McManus, 2012). However, these options require support from relatives or significant financial investments, which may not be available to dying people (McManus, 2012). Therefore, people need to be offered other options about how to spend their last days.
Even though I understand the arguments of supporters of death with dignity, I strongly oppose it. The case of Brittany Maynard, who ended her life at 29 using death with dignity laws, is a vivid example of how physician-aid-in-dying can be applied (Szabo, 2016). According to Szabo (2016), Brittany feared severe pain associated with cancer. However, Blanke, LeBlanc, Hershman, Ellis, and Meyskens (2017) state that only 25% of people who used euthanasia laws are concerned with pain.
The majority of people are concerned with control over their life and death (Blanke et al., 2017). However, I believe that the premature end of life is not in the best interest of the patient, and doctors should not have the right to take people’s lives. I believe that people should find peace with fate and God’s will.
BBC. (n.d.). Anti-euthanasia arguments. Web.
Blanke, C., LeBlanc, M., Hershman, D., Ellis, L., & Meyskens, F. (2017). Characterizing 18 years of the Death with Dignity Act in Oregon. JAMA oncology, 3(10), 1403-1406.
McManus, R. (2012). Editorial: Culture, death and dying with dignity. Health Sociology Review, 21(4), 370–372. Web.
Szabo, L. (2016). Death with dignity’ laws and the desire to control how one’s life ends. Washington Post. Web.