A Controversial Topic Of The Right To Die
There are many conflicting views surrounding the concept of the right to death and whether or not an individual should be able to decide when to end their life. Some can agree that in certain cases under unbearable circumstances, such as terminal illness, having the right to death should be an option as it is unethical to force an individual to endure conditions in which they find intolerable. However, the topic can raise concern for people who abide by religious and moral views since the idea of taking one’s own life is a notion that goes against their personal or religious beliefs. The arguments can also be based on factors such as social mores, spiritual beliefs, culture, and many other aspects of life that influence one’s worldview.
Among the several arguments, one particular argument that opposes the right to death is that physician-assisted suicide may potentially lead to a slippery slope that will open doors to other harmful practices and because it violates an oath of ethics taken by physicians that requires a physician to swear to uphold specific ethical standards, this oath is known as the Hippocratic Oath. Dr. Jack Kevorkian nicknamed “Dr. Death” failed to comply with such oath, as he was convicted of second degree murder for administering drugs to over 100 patients, most who weren’t even terminally ill and for his acts, Dr. Kevorkian is often cited as an argument against physician-assisted suicide. Many who oppose the right to death by assisted suicide, fear that the doctor will take advantage of their patients and opposers claim that there is no definitive guarantee that it is completely the patients choice, many worry that the patient could fall into pressure from the doctor, a family member, or any other person with ill intent and motives that can benefit others and not the patient himself such as insurance money or an inheritance that may come from the patients death. Some people also argue against assisted suicide in fear that it would become normalized in society and overall devalue the meaning of life. Opposers claim that assisted suicide removes all hope from a devastating circumstance and that it can be a permanent decision to a sometimes temporary problem. Those who are against physician-assisted suicide claim that people who seek suicide may also be making an impulsive decision.
While those who are in favor of assisted suicide counter argue that most people have a strong will to survive and such feeling cannot be set away or influenced by the opinions of others. Rob Jonquière, World Federation of right to die societies Communications Director states “People who request for assisted dying normally do this because they are in pain, or fear future pain or other forms of suffering in the future. When patients are vulnerable to pressure from others, this will come up in the process of assisted dying, as the question whether a person really wants to die, will be asked more than once to a patient. ” Suicide is not a decision that is taken into considertion lightly. A majority of the time when an individual decides that there is no better alternative other than dying, it is likely that they’ve thought about it for a prolonged period of time and are certain of what they want and it is very unlikely for such crucial decision to be made based solely as a result of pressure from others. In excruciating circumstances human beings should be able to decide when to put a halt to their pain, For example, most recently in 2014 a 29-year-old woman, Brittany Maynard was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and felt that it was well within her right to at least have the option to end her life due to her circumstance. According to a Law street article by Annaleise Mahoney, Brittany expressed “Who has the right to tell me that I don’t deserve this choice? That I deserve to suffer for weeks or months in tremendous amounts of physical and emotional pain? Why should anyone have the right to make that choice for me?” Maynard ended her life in 2014, she was an advocate for assisted suicide and after her death she became the face of a movement that supports physician-assisted suicide. A great amount of people believe it is indeed fair for someone who is experiencing a great amount of physical agony to decide whether or not they want to continue to withstand that pain because although many argue that it is immoral to die in such a manner, it is also immoral and cruel to force someone in those conditions to continue to live with the pain every single day, and it also raises the question of whether or not they are truly living because being alive doesn’t necessarily mean you feel alive. It is selfish to force people to continue to live in discomfort due to personal sentiments.
Today, physician-assisted suicide is legal in nine U. S states and in the district of colombia, it is an option given to individuals by law in the District of Colombia, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington and people continue to advocate for it to be legal everywhere. Those against the right to death should take into consideration the circumstances of those who wish to put an end to their agony because whether you agree or disagree, their reasons are valid. The right to death should be an option for those who are terminally ill, having that option would give them an opportunity to put an end to their physical, emotional, and mental suffering. Knowing that they have the choice to no longer endure that pain could bring them comfort. Patients deserve the right to choose to die because often times that is their only way to obtain peace.
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