Should They Have The Right?


English 1301

19 November 2002

In recent years the debate over the question of whether terminally ill people should have the legal right to obtain a physicians help in ending their lives has intensified. People possess assurance in the conviction that mentally ill patients should have the right to seek a physician’s assistance to bring about an end to their lives.

Within approximately every state, assisted suicide has not been prohibited or conceded by law. Over twenty state legislatures have considered and defeated similar laws.

Respected medical professionals occupy their positions on either side of this debate. Much like the controversy over abortion, this debate is emotionally charged in which morality, medical ethics, as well as religion all play their parts. Both opponents and proponents of assisted suicide believe that their position is the most compassionate and morally correct one.

Should mentally competent terminally ill people encompass the right to seek a physician’s assistance in this matter? A terminally ill individual should have the privilege to establish how and when to surrender the struggle for his or her own existence. Terminally ill people should have the right to “die with dignity” and to avoid a prolonged death in which they may be in excruciating pain, heavily medicated, and completely dependent on others for help in completing every day tasks. People are anxious of this type of suffering and helplessness that corresponds with this type of death, and if given the chance, would prefer not to endure this pain.


Assisted suicide must be legalized. If a person’s life has deteriorated to the point of misery, then no government or medical facility should be allowed to force that person to go on living in misery. There is minute difference between the right to refuse treatment to continue life, and the right to obtain medication to terminate life. Supporters say that legal assisted suicide is a compassionate response to dying people who want to know that they can choose a death that they feel is dignified if they decide to do so.

Many physicians already help their terminally ill patients to die by prescribing them overdoses of legal drugs when asked to do so. Bearing in mind that this practice is recurrent, it should be legalized and regulated. Physicians can be given guidelines to follow on this practice to ensure that safeguards are implemented.

Those against assisted suicide say that legalization will have disastrous consequences for the patients. How can this be so? Must these individuals actually be made to suffer in such a way that they experience embarrassment for the reasons that they are dependent? Should individuals be required to experience pain to the extremity of his or her demise? Nobody would wish to endure this agony. The issue of assisted suicide should not be a controversial topic. Nobody desires to experience the pain of life-threatening illness. Should he or she be required to tolerate the agony, when there is only a questionable amount of time?

The caring for and emotional anguish caused for the loved ones involved should also be considered. When there is not anything to look forward to, he or she stands by and watches as the individual that they love gradually fades away. Loved ones ought to be able to advance forward and establish in on his or her grieving process. Instead, he or she goes all the way through this grueling process more than once. He or she commences the initial grieving process


as soon as their loved one is diagnosed with this terminal illness. In addition, they begin the grieving process for a second time once they have witnessed them pass.

Individuals should possess the privilege to choose whether he or she wants to undergo pain for the remainder of his or her existence. If they desire, he or she should not have to endure the agony that goes along with the medical condition in which he or she has been forced to subsist with. When terminally ill patients are given medication to cease their pain, they are given so much medication that they sometimes do not know who they are. Individuals should not be required to undergo this type of experience. People who are opposed to assisted suicide have not had the