Assisted Suicide: A Logical Practice

March 7, 2011
Assisted suicide is defined as controversial actions that help one person bring about the death of his or her self. It is most commonly used to describe when a doctor tries to help end the life of a struggling patient. It is a very controversial topic that is not only discussed here, but is also discussed all around the world. There are many different views on the humaneness, thought process, and decision making strategies that go with assisted suicide. Although the worldwide consensus is that this an unthinkable action, I believe assisted suicide should be all legal because the laws in some countries are unclear, the patient should be given a choice, and because physicians are by oath and by law supposed to do everything they can to relive pain and suffering.

I feel assisted suicide should be fully legal because countries have made their laws and views unclear about this very important topic. For example, in Sweden, there is no direct law about the stance of assisted suicide. However, in 1979 Swedish leader Berit Hedeby went to prison for a full year because he helped a man with multiple sclerosis kill himself. The man, who had an extremely painful and unfortunate illness, asked for help, yet Hedeby still went to jail. I believe that this is absolutely ridiculous. In a country where there is no law that exactly defines assisted suicide as legal or illegal, a man serves a jail sentence for doing what he feels is correct. Knowing there was no law, he thought he was doing this man a great favor, but on the contrary, he was sentenced for what he thought was an act of humility. In addition, having no law about assisted suicide since 1751, a Swiss man was cleared of all charges of the crime in Germany in the year 2000. I do feel it was right for this man to be freed, but I also do not think there should be a trial for doing something someone asks you to do. A law making this action legal instead of just having no law would be a much easier way to see what ailing people really wanted. Because of the lack of laws and unclear views, I feel it should be legal to help one who asks you to in suicide.

I also feel it should be legal to assist a person in suicide because a person should very well be allowed to choose their own fate if in pain or suffering. For example, when a person is given a certain amount of time to live, and become even more ill, it should be their choice to live or not. If they are in such pain and distress that they have lost the will to live, then they should be obligated to tell you this and end their life. For one who says this is inhumane or the easy way out, I say that if you are already in the hospital and mentally stable enough to make choices, you should be allowed to make the final one. In addition, a Netherlands-based study showed that 65% of physicians offered the option to people who had not asked for it. To some, this may prove my point is wrong because it does not make it an option, but I say that it helps. I believe that if the option is presented in a non-demanding way, then it will actually make the person truly think about the choice for a longer period of time, and the thought process will be more drawn out. It will not just be a decision made because someone is in so much pain that they chose to end it all. If in a state where one feels they cannot go on living anymore, I believe that it should be legal for someone to help them in taking their own life to end the pain.

Lastly, I feel it is a necessary option to make assisted suicide legal because doctors make an oath to help relive and fix all pain, and this is a very logical thing to do when all other options fail. For example, doctors must respect that if a patient is competent, he or she may request to forgo all life-sustaining medicinal practices. In other words, this says that if a patient can make their own choice, then they are obliged to do so. I think it makes no sense whatsoever that a patient can choose not to have life-saving treatments, but they may not choose to take their own life with help. Although it is not the same exact thing, I believe it is right that if a patient can choose to skip treatment, then they should be able to end their life so they don’t have to wait for the end in pain. In addition, if everything else has failed in prior treatment, the only way to relive pain would be to take the life of the patient. If the patient chose to go through all of the work of treatment, but it just did not work in the end, then they should have the final say. Whether or not others think it is right, the person who has the last decision should be the one who went through all of the pain. Because of the fact that doctors must do everything in their power to end pain, I think that the final option of death should be available to those who choose it. Even though it is generally not seen as a positive thing, I believe assisted suicide should be all legal because the laws in some countries are unclear, the patient should be given a choice, and because physicians are by oath and by law supposed to do everything they can to relive pain and suffering. It is generally seen as inhumane and wrong, but it can be right in certain situations of extreme pain suffering, or illness. Although assisted suicide is not limited to doctors killing patients who ask them too, this is seen as the most common form of the controversial act.

Works Cited
"Assisted Suicide - Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia - Wisconsin Right To Life." Wisconsin Right to Life. Web. 21 Feb. 2011. <>.
Humphry, Derek. "Assisted Suicide Laws Around the World - Assisted Suicide." Assisted Suicide - Information on Right-to-die and Euthanasia Laws and History. Web. 21 Feb. 2011. <>.
"Physician-Assisted Suicide - Introduction." EndLink-Resource for End of Life Care Education. Web. 21 Feb. 2011. <>.

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DarkenedRainbow said...
May 17, 2011 at 2:00 am
I think you have good reasoning. But people would have to be careful of who they're assisting. What if some 14 yr old asked you to help them kill themself? And if the only thing wrong with them was that they were depressed? I don't think that would be something someone should help do. I'm not saying I think your wrong. On the contrary, I agree with you, but I don't believe it should be fully legal. But it shouldn't be competely illeagl either. Doctors helping their patients should be lega... (more »)
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