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Assisted Suicide, the Right to Die
Though it may be an uncomfortable thing to know, there is something people are being denied. People are denied things everyday, what these people are being denied is uncomprehendable. Terminally ill, suffering people are being denied the right to end their suffering. They are forced to live each day in misery. Now, all these people want is to end their suffering. We could help by legalizing assisted suicide, helping to stop their pain. People have been forced to end their own lives, without proper medical help, some have had to have loved ones do it for them. As a result, they suffered legal consequences. I believe that terminally ill people, suffering major pain and discomfort, should be allowed to make the choice of assisted suicide.
Richard McIlory 71, whom whose suffering from lukiemia had become unbearable, had his wife help him commit suicide by giving him chocolate ice cream sprinkled with seconal tablets (C. Baron 1). Legalizing assisted suicide would prevent tragedies like this one from ever having to occur. Instead of one person suffering, the government makes it two. Sixty-six year old Dietrich Weithnery from Pennsylvania killed his wife Louise. She was suffering from a combination of asthma, congestive heart failure, and diabetes. Walking to his wife's bedside, he was forced to pick up a two-foot
In long oxygen tank and slammed it into her head forcefully enough to kill her. Next, he tried to kill himself by slashing his wrists, but was saved by the paramedics. One and a half years later he was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole (C. Baron 1).
There is so much information on this topic it is almost overwhelming. Throughout the ages, people have reflected upon the issues of death and dying. With the advent of modern medical technology and the more common usage of artificial measures to prolong life, many people today are more fearful of the process of dying than of death itself (life and death final report 1). Now, if we are advanced enough to prolong life, then why are we letting the people who are terminally ill and suffering not let themselves decide if they want to die? What kind of barbaric custom is this? Then, when someone tries to help these poor suffering people he is called a murderer. I also see this as a violation of basic human rights.
"Others think that traditional medical ethics are crumbling before our very eyes. Where physicians once swore to "do no harm," today many doctors think it acceptable to kill a patient whom requests death" (1). Quoting a writer by the name of Wesley J. Smith. Smith argues that doctors used to be taught that all patients had an equal inherent moral value. This value system known variously as the "equality or sanctity of life" ethic (1). This ethic thus entitled them optimum medical care based on their individual needs and by simple virtue of their humanity. Today a growing pragmatic spirit threatens elderly and disabled patients with complete abandonment by doctors based on "quality of life" considerations. Wesley also points out that doctors of yore would never divide their loyalties between patients and managed health care business entities, where profits come from inducing physicians to reduce the levels of care (1).
Well, back in the days of yore, everything that was taught to anyone, professional or not, ethically wise is challenged today. Times change and people change with it. Along with the growth of the human race, society, and technology, creates new environments. It is a known fact that all living things adapt to their environment. They adapt allowing survival. It is an ancient cycle.
In recent, years a number of cases have come to light, attracting a considerable amount of media attention, not just in the United States, either. The most controversial and popular topic, a man accused and convicted of being a murderer, Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Also known as the "Dr. of Death," a man who assisted in hundreds of suicides.
When Dr. Kevorkian first started assisting suicides, many people thought he was simply trying to make a point, and that, having done so, he would stop. That was not the case, he just kept going and going. When he assisted four people in one week, it seemed to many people that this was getting out of hand. Yet, we don't want to find him guilty of murder. We do want him or someone like him to be available to us if the need ever came up (Block 1).
The reason for this thinking is that we are afraid of pain. Not the ordinary, bearable pain that we are accustomed to-headaches and backaches, or childbearing.
Dr. Kevorkian got a bum rap from many ununderstanding people. Alain C. Baird writes differently. I think these are all wonderful statements that need to be seen by more people.
He accepts people with little chance at a painless
Terminology mentioned in this term paper
Names referenced in this report
Dr. Jack Kevorkian., Louise, Barry Bostrom, Wesley J. Smith, Richard McIlory, Robert, Alain C. Baird, Wesley, Robert Ho, Smith, Alan, Jarvis, William Fishback, Phyllis, Charles H, Barry, Bob Olrich, Richard M, Susan Scheufler, Wesley J, Weithman, Paul J,
Organizations included in this term paper
Special Senate Committee, Washington Post,
Locations referenced in this research material
the first and only state, Pennsylvania, United States, Nebraska, New York, Webster, Maryland, Switzerland, The Netherlands,
Health Conditions talked about in this report
asthma, cancer, blindness, heart failure, diabetes, colon cancer,
Companies talked about in this paper
Keywords mentioned in this paper
suicide, terminally ill, assisted suicide, pain, patient, jack kevorkian, euthanasia, legalizing, physician, Christian Century, all these people, life and death, Voluntary active euthanasia, oxygen tank, a survey, ethics, physical pain, pain control, this one, congestive heart failure, normal life, medical, basic human rights, legalize, first degree murder, Oregon, Robert Ho, one doctor, old wife, moral value, personal distress, so sick, medical ethics, ice cream, William Fishback, bodily functions, God Bless, Future generations, human race, used to be, chronic illness, final report, United States, business entities, National Right, health care, April 1999, medical technology, criminal case,