This essay has a total of 1936 words and 9 pages.
Walking through the corridors of any hospital would show one several things. There would be people healing, hurting, dying, and coping with all sorts of problems. Even though some of them may share the same misfortunes, they are separated into two categories: those who are still fighting for their lives and those who have given up. To those who have given up, the thought of suicide always arises because one no longer has the desire to deal with a problem and they just want out. There may be a man whose withered and shaky hands can not even hold a cup for a drink of water which aides him in choking down the never ending line of pills he must take every day to keep his body from completely breaking down, or maybe there is a teenage girl who battles with not only the cancer that is eating at her from the inside, but also deals with the radiation and chemotherapy that is supposed to be curing her but only drains her more. If one were to look at these cases, one may say that suicide would be the easiest path to take. They might say that someone should help the suffering permanently and aid him or her in their death. After all, “No decent human being would allow an animal to suffer without putting it out of its misery. It is only to human beings that human beings are so cruel as to allow them to live on in pain, in hopelessness, in living death, without moving a muscle to help them.”-Isaac Asimov (Tada, 56). Although some say it is the best path for those who are elderly or terminally ill, assisted suicide should not be allowed because it is the same as murder.
When one finds out that they have a terminal illness, there are several realities and decisions they must face. The first reality is that there is nothing they can do about their situation and their first decision is whether to fight and make the most of the time they have left or just give up and take “the easy way out”. They face emotional and physical stress, decreasing health, and sometimes outrageously high medical bills. All of these factors can lead one to feel as if taking their own life would be the best option. Society helps to make the thought of suicide seem better by saying that “One no longer commits suicide, one performs self-deliverance” (Tada 31). People view it as making it better for themselves and for those around them, so they want to have an assisted suicide where a doctor can give them an injection or drug that will let them solve their problems. “In studies of assisted suicide and euthanasia…physicians reported that loss of dignity, pain, not wishing to die in an ‘unworthy way’, being dependent on others, and being tired of living were the reasons patients have for requesting euthanasia” (Hendin 243). Some feel that taking their own lives is wrong, but having a doctor do it for you is not wrong at all. They do not consider it to be the same as suicide. This is where the controversy begins. Society says that it is a patient’s right to take his or her own life or have a doctor take it if the patient feels there is no hope for him or her. This is wrong though because with today’s continually advancing technology there is always a hope of getting better and if not then one should try to live it out and make the best of the rest of his or her life.
Another factor in a patient’s decision is the family. A patient may want to commit suicide because he or she does not want to be a financial, physical, or emotional strain on his or her family members. He or she may decide that it would be better to simply save his or her family from the hardship of taking care of him or her. This can not be a legitimate argument though because no family would want to see their loved one end his or her life. Most would want him or her to try to live out his or her life to the fullest and make cherished memories while he or she can. Another scenario with the family would be if a teenage girl is in a coma and the doctors give the family the opportunity to just “let her go”. No one would want to make that kind of decision, because if the girl had a chance to say so, she would probably tell them one of two things: either to go ahead and let her die peacefully or to give her a little while longer to fight and try to pull through. A patient may also take into consideration how his or her family feels about suicide when making his or her decision. If one’s family is strong in the belief that suicide is wrong, then he or she may be more prone to leave suicide as a last resort or not even an option at all. If he or she is from a Christian family, then his or her family might back up their views with the scripture “…a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die…” (Ecc. 3:2). Holding to this scripture, the family feels that man has no right to change God’s plan for his life. It is not man’s place to “play God” and take matters into his own hands by taking his life and going against what God has for him rather than just dealing with his problems, whatever they may be.
A final side in the assisted suicide controversy is the doctor. Sometimes doctors are in a difficult position because “they desire to understand the difference between prolonging death and sustaining life” (Tada 43). “Some doctors believe that better pain control could reduce the number of patients who would prefer
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