Physical assisted suicide refers to deliberate annihilation of life done by another person through an open request of the individual wishing to die. It may entail killing a sick person out of apprehension and sympathy for his suffering. For years, medical doctors have been proscribed from assisting long- suffering patients in committing suicide (Dahl, 2008, p. 127).
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This issue is touching and controversial and ranges from abortion. It has not been established whether the physical assisted suicide is expedient for a community. This paper will discuss the pros and cons of physical assisted suicide. In my opinion, I believe that physical assisted suicide is beneficial and should therefore be legalized.
Major argument – Pros of Physical Assisted Suicide
Premise 1: Physical assisted suicide saves patients from terrific pain and misery.
Many disorders such as cancer lead to a slow death and doctors have adequate knowledge and skills to know when the days of a patient are limited. Patients suffering from such ailments know that they will die, and their pains only continue increasing day by day. It is, therefore, questionable about why the doctors should let these patients suffer continuously till their bodies collapse. It is humanitarian to give the patient the choice to articulate when he has had enough pains. “Imagine what it would be like to spend six months vomiting, coughing, enduring pain spasms, losing control of excretory functions and suffering psychologically” (Hendin & Foley, 2002, p. 315).
Premise 2: The entitlement to death should be primarily determined by an individual.
The government constitution does not at any point state that the authority has the power to keep an individual from carrying out suicide.” After all, if the patient and the family agree it is what they want to do, whose business is it anyway? Who else is it going to hurt?” (Dahl, 2008, p. 127). In a nation that is allegedly free, physical assisted suicide should be a basic right.
Premise 3: Physical assisted suicide allows individuals to die with self respect rather than having the ailment diminish them to a shell of their previous selves.
Patients who are about to die are at times unable to look after themselves and discomfitures such as vomits, salivations, urine and fecal waste must in this case be attended to by treatment subordinates. Practically, all persons want other people’s final reminiscence of them to be how they were at some point in life but not what they were during their last moments. “Other patients and families have the same wishes for themselves. We should let people die with their dignity, pride, and self-worth intact” (Kopelman & Allen, 2001).
Premise 4: Costs associated with medical care can be decreased.
Physical assisted suicide minimizes the enormous costs associated with long- suffering patients as it is extremely expensive to maintain a dying patient. For instance, one must shell out money for x-rays, laboratory examinations, hospital operating costs and medical staff remunerations.” Is this the best way to spend our money when the patient himself would like to die? Would not the money be better spent on the patients that can be saved?” (Weir, 1997). It is, therefore, completely unrealistic to use the money for patients who either way will die.
Premise 5: Through physical assisted suicide, crucial body parts can be saved.
This permits medical doctors to save other persons life and this places the wants of those living at the fore front. There is high demand for organs such as hearts and kidneys. These are essential to enhance the lives of individuals whose lives can be saved. “Physical assisted suicide allows physicians to preserve vital organs that can be donated to others (assuming the patients are organ donors)” (Kopelman & Allen, 2001).
Minor argument – Cons of Physical Assisted Suicide
Premise 1: Many religious convictions forbid physical assisted suicide
Almost all religions have a regulation in opposition to murder and the most fundamental directive in the Bible is “Thou shall not kill” (Svenson, 2003, p.199). We need to defend the morals of both the patient and the doctor.
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Premise 2: Physical assisted suicide breaks the doctors Hippocratic vow.
Each medical doctor is supposed to take a vow upon receiving a health degree. This states that the doctor should do no mischief on the part of the patient. “Assisting in suicides would be a violation of that oath, and it would lead to a weakening of doctor-patient trust” (Svenson, 2003, p.199).
Premise 3: It impels Physicians and patients to surrender patient recuperation too early.
If a patient is informed that he has for instance six months left to survive with increasing serious pains, then he may choose to end his life before it gets worse. “This wipes out valuable time that can be spent with family and friends and denies the slim chance of a recovery or the possibility of discovering a doctor error” (Kim, 2001, p. 226).
Dahl, E. (2008). Giving death a helping hand: physician-assisted suicide and public policy: an international perspective. Dordrecht: Springer.
Hendin, H., & Foley, M. (2002). The case against assisted suicide: for the right to end-of-life care. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Kim, C. (2001). Pros and cons: social policy debates of our times. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Kopelman, M., & Allen, K. (2001). Physician-assisted suicide: what are the issues? Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Svenson, G. (2003). Physician-assisted suicide: the anatomy of a constitutional law issue. Lanham Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Weir, F. (1997). Physician-assisted suicide. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.