Assisted suicide is the process by which one encourages or helps another person to kill or murder themselves. Assisted suicide is legal in five states in the United States of America while in some countries, it remains illegal and punishable by the law of those countries. Before assisted suicide is carried out to an individual, he or she must be suffering from a terminal illness suffered for at least six months (Clark 36). In an event it is carried out, the physicians are not liable to prosecution for issuing medications that kill the individual. For this reason, physician-assisted suicide should be legalized to eliminate terminally ill individuals suffering from severe pain.
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Assisted suicide is important in the modern health industry. One of the most significant reasons assisted suicide should be legalized is the fact that it provides terminally ill patients the opportunity to choose whether they will continue living in pain or chose to succumb. This offers them the chance to have control over their own mind and bodies, which are part of the essential human rights that terminally ill patients should possess (Berghmans, Guy, & Ineke 3). For instance, a patient suffering from Alzheimer’s with a deteriorated mind should be offered the opportunity to end their lives while they still possess the memory of their family and loves ones. This exercise makes the patient competent since one is able to choose whether he or she wants to die or not.
Assisted suicide also reduces the suffering of family and friends for patients who are terminally ill and continue spending time and money in the health facilities. Witnessing the death of a loved one is not easy to witness but having a loved one spend time and money while suffering in pain would be more heartbreaking. This elimination method of suicide also gives the suffering patients the opportunity to have time with their loved ones while still strong, health-wise, rather than seeing them grow weak over time (Clark 6). It offers the opportunity for the terminally ill patients to have control over their circumstances by choosing to die in the hospital or at home. This is because no human being would like to die, but the freedom to choose whether to die or live can be a person’s choice.
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Physician-assisted suicide saves time for doctors and nurses who still have the chance to get better instead of focusing their attention on terminally ill patients. This argument applies mostly in a health facility where the ratio of patients to doctors is not compatible to allow delivery of quality services to all the patients (Ganzini 39). In the modern world where the number of killer diseases is high and the causes of death are numerous, the influx of patients in health facilities keeps rising. For this reason, it is recommended that doctors and nurses concentrate on patients who have the chance to recover once again rather than put a lot of medical energy on patients who are eventually most likely to die (31). This aspect can only be supported by physician-assisted suicide.
Another important aspect about physician-assisted suicide is the prevention of suffering of the family and lives of the terminally ill patient. In this case, when patients suffer from serious and dignifying ailments, their pain and suffering are emotionally transmitted to the patient’s family and loved ones (Berghmans, Guy, & Ineke 3). This elimination process is not gruesome and helps in reducing the pain and suffering caused by the patient that will succumb in the future. In some cases, the family and loved ones may be affected health-wise leading to additional misery and more financial costs of medical attention for those who became sick resultantly (Clark 14).
In conclusion, it is in order for all the states and countries in the World to legalize physician-assisted suicide because of the above-mentioned reasons. This exercise does not just reduce the cost incurred and physical suffering but is also very heartbreaking. It is unfortunate to state that seriously ill patients in hospitals are as heartbreaking as those who lose loved ones from death. For this reasons, when such patients are helped to die, the family and loved ones begin to forget about them after the heartbreak (Ganzini 48). In the United States of America, the argument as to whether to legalize physician-assisted suicide or not continues to be a controversial debate with equal support from both sides of the divide. But with regards to the above reasons issues, it is in order to legalize physician-assisted suicide because the issues discussed are of weighty reasoning.
- Berghmans Ron, Guy Widdershoven, and Ineke Widdershoven-Heerding. “Physician-assisted suicide in psychiatry and loss of hope.” International journal of law and psychiatry, 36.5 (2013): 436-443.
- Clark, Nina. The politics of physician assisted suicide. Abingdon: Routledge, 2014.
- Ganzini, Linda. “Legalised physician-assisted death in Oregon.” QUT L. Rev., 16 (2016): 76.