Doctor-Assisted SuicideEach year 34,000 people commit suicide in the United States (Melnick 1). This statistic is both a tragic and disturbing one. As a community, we should be trying to help lower this number, not increase it. A physician-assisted suicide is when a doctor is given permission to prescribe a deadly drug, but the patient takes it upon him or herself to take it and the doctor must be approved by the state in which the patient is a resident with a prescription license.
(Quill and Sussman 1). The act of a doctor helping someone end their life has been a highly controversial topic for many reasons. Some argue that people should be able to determine how they die, and others argue that this act is immoral to human society. I personally believe that a doctor assisted suicide should be illegal since you are essentially helping someone end their life `when there are a number of alternatives.Many people are unaware about facts on physician assisted suicide. Currently, it is legal in five states: Oregon, Vermont, Washington, California, and Colorado. In order for this act to be carried out, the patient must have a terminal illness and a prognosis of at most six months to live.
Lastly, physicians cannot be prosecuted for prescribing medications to quicken the process of death. (Anderson 1). I feel there is an obvious reason as to why it should be illegal, but many people believe you should be able to choose how you die, even if that means help from your doctor. John Brown, the California governor, signed into the End of Life Option Act which allows physician-assisted suicide in California for the people with terminal illnesses. Brown says, ” I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill” (CNN 2). I feel that this governor made a selfish statement and is not focusing on what is best for human society. Someone who has that much power and control over a state should be influencing the people the right way, instead of encouraging an act that allows someone else to in essence kill another person.
Terminally ill people need to seek the help they need and die from natural causes which is what is natural and moral. The main argument against doctor assisted suicide is that you are essentially intentionally killing a person. It is endangering the weak people in human society and it can be seen as betraying human dignity and denies equality before the law. The Hippocratic Oath proclaims, “I will keep the sick from harm and injustice. I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.
” (Anderson 1). I completely support this statement considering the fact that you are assisting someone put their life to an end when there are various other ways to cure a person. There are many alternatives to a doctor assisted suicide. This includes compassion and care, how a doctor should really be taking care of a patient. If someone is in pain, the patient can go to a pain management center to seek help.
For the people who are bound to die soon, they can seek hospice care to help carry out their numbered days. Another alternative is palliative care, treatment that tries to improve someone’s quality of life by managing the pain someone has or alleviating the symptoms of an illness. This is care that is open to people of all stages under any illness which makes it an extremely useful alternative. With the amount of alternatives, there is no reason as to why a doctor-assisted suicide should be legal. I personally view the act as barbaric and immoral to human society. Supreme court cases that involve doctor assisted suicides include Washington v. Glucksberg and Quill v.
Vacco. In both of these 1997 supreme court cases, the constitutionality of the prohibitions against doctor-assisted suicide were challenged, but they ruled that these issues should be determined among the states. (Quill and Sussman 1). These cases show that there has not been much progress in stopping physician-assisted suicides. I think it is important that people learn the facts and realize how immoral this act really is.The act of a doctor assisting a patient with suicide has been a controversial topic for various reasons. Some believe that a person should be allowed to determine how they die based on how they feel, while others believe this act is completely immoral and that people should die from natural causes only.
I think there is much evidence and alternatives to support that physician-assisted suicides should be illegal. The terminally ill that no longer want to live, should seek the help they need through palliative care and compassion from their doctor. With much support, making physician-assisted suicides illegal throughout the country is what is best for human society.