Assisted suicide, or euthanasia as it is commonly known, has been the subject of debate and rebuttal for several years, and it, like any other contentious issue, has supporters and opponents depending on how people perceive it. Assisted suicide is a procedure in which a terminally ill patient’s life is ended in order to relieve them of their pain and suffering. To be eligible for assisted suicide, a person must be mentally competent to make this decision for themselves and be terminally ill. Euthanasia has variety of advantages, and they are mainly based on one deciding whether to criticize it as ethically and morally right or wrong. Assisted suicide should be legalized in the U.S. because people who are suffering from a terminal illness should be able to choose a peaceful death for themselves, instead of dying from their painful illnesses
Assisted suicide is an acceptable procedure that should be legalized in the US because every individual with a terminal illness has a right to choose between staying alive and in pain or dying a painless death. There is no reason why someone should be forced to live with an incurable illness with excruciating pain, yet there is a way out through assisted suicide (Aviv). Several patients with terminal illnesses become disabled and have to live with pain for several years. Nevertheless, the legalization of assisted suicide will help such patients to be relieved from chronic pain and die a painless death. Patients should not be subjected to enduring severe pain from incurable illnesses when there is a worthwhile alternative like assisted suicide that needs legalization by the government.
Euthanasia can be very useful to patients with chronic pain from incurable terminal diseases. These patients have a right to free will; therefore, they should not be denied the chance to choose what they want. According to Span, people are allowed to make choices about the kind of jobs they want, the people they want to marry, and the kind of life they want, then why should a person making a decision on euthanasia different? (New York Times). Euthanasia is a choice in one’s treatment, and so every patient has a right to accept or refuse treatment, and this applies to assisted suicide too (BBC News). Consequently, assisted suicide should be legalized in the US to allow terminally ill patients to make choices for themselves because they have a right to end a life that is no more of quality to them and its costing the people around them.
Patients with terminal illnesses have a right to choose euthanasia to die with dignity instead of enduring pain, and later on, die a painful death after several months or years of suffering. Goligher et al. note that we should not allow our family members or any other person to lose their sense of self as they struggle with the chronic pain of an incurable illness (152). Many terminally ill patients go through the chronic pain until they lose their mind and become mentally unstable and incapacitated. The state is forcing patients to live an intolerable life by refusing to legalize euthanasia, and this has even forced some to move to other states where it is legalized. A good example is the case of Brittany Maynard who had move to another state to pursue assisted suicide (Zakaria). According to Rafia Zakaria, Maynard’s life was excruciating, and she had to make this decision despite receiving a lot of criticism from groups of people. However, we can avoid this by legalizing euthanasia in the US whereby patients like Brittany Maynard will have a right to choose to die with dignity. Therefore, euthanasia should be legalized in the US to allow patients with terminal illness to choose to die with dignity.
On the same line, sometimes it takes several years for a patient with a terminal illness to die, yet there is an option like euthanasia where they should not have to endure chronic pain for an inevitable death. Some of these patients even end up committing suicide because euthanasia is not legalized (Drum). For that reason, assisted suicide should be legalized to shorten the pain these patients go through because why prolong a life of an individual suffering chronic pain from a disease that has no cure and will kill him/her at the end of the day? It is unfair to let a terminally ill person go through pain and suffering when they can have the option of ending their life peacefully through assisted suicide. Euthanasia should be legalized to relieve patients from pain.
Numerous groups argue against that assisted suicide terming it unethical and a process that could lead to the abuse of the rights of patients. According to Anderson, assisted suicide is a violation of an individual’s right to life. However, the arguments against assisted suicide are always logically countered and challenged. The proponents have challenged this by arguing that, legalizing assisted suicide is a compassionate way of giving terminally ill patients a chance to die a painless death and with dignity (ProCon.org). It is apparent that every individual has a right to life, but again, why force someone to live a painful life for several years from an incurable disease when that life is no longer of quality to him or her and their family members. Assisted suicide should be legalized by the United States because every patient with a terminal illness should have the right to decide if they are to endure the pain from the condition for several years or they are to end their lives in a painless way through assisted suicide.
The question as to whether euthanasia should be legalized in the US has been a hard nut to crack. Assisted suicide is a hot issue right now in the US with many raging debates across the states it remains illegal. Opponents insist that it should not be legalized because it might lead to the death of many patients who did not take it as an option (Anderson). However, euthanasia has its rules and regulations. For instance, before a patient takes it as an option, he/she has to be certified to be of sound mind while making the decision and must be terminally ill with chronic pain. Moreover, two independent certified physicians have to prove beyond reasonable doubt the patient has an incurable terminal illness and is in severe pain (Emanuel et al. 85). Therefore, the government should legalize euthanasia and stop basing its illegalization on baseless facts such as that it could be latitude to unnecessary mass deaths because such concerns are addressed.
Euthanasia should not be illegalized because of its advantages for patients with terminal illnesses as well as their family members. Nonetheless, it should be restricted on how the procedure is carried out to ensure that there is no gross misconduct from health professionals and even the family members of the patients. This is for the reason that, with assisted suicide, patients will not have to suffer chronic pain yet, in the end; they will die from a condition (Zakaria). In addition, family members will not have to run bankrupt treating a loved one who will never be cured just because the government has failed to legalize assisted suicide. Therefore, the government should carefully consider the positives of the process before banning it since it will rob the terminal ill patients a chance to choose what they think is best for their lives.
In conclusion, assisted suicide has been a topic of contention all over the world with everyone looking for ways to legalize or illegalize it. Regardless of the many reactions from different stakeholders, assisted suicide should be legalized in the United States because every individual has a right to choose whether to continue living a painful life or die a painless death. Even though there will be moral and ethical issues still arising about the process, what should be understood is that euthanasia is here and will continue even in the future. If euthanasia is legalized, it will be highly monitored, and therefore, all implications being mentioned will be eliminated (Emanuel et al. 60). In essence, assisted suicide should be legalized by all states because it could be an answer to the pain and suffering of many patients with terminal illnesses.
Anderson, Dave. “Top 10 Reasons Euthanasia Should Be Legal Everywhere.” Top 10 Lists | ListLand.com. 12 Feb. 2015, https://www.listland.com/top-10-reasons-euthanasia-should-be-illegal/ Accessed 21 April. 2017.
Aviv, Rachel “The death treatment: when should people with a non-terminal illness be helped to die.” The New Yorker. 22 Jun. 2015, http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/06/22/the-death-treatment Accessed 21 April. 2017.
“BBC – Ethics – Euthanasia: Pro-euthanasia Arguments.” Ethics Guide. BBC, n.d. http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/euthanasia/infavour/infavour_1.shtml Accessed 21 April. 2017.
Drum, Kevin. “My Right to Die.” Mother Jones, 17 Jan. 2016, http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/01/my-right-die, Accessed 21 April. 2017.
Emanuel, Ezekiel J., et al. “Attitudes and Practices of Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide in the United States, Canada, and Europe.” Jama 316.1 (2016): 79-90. Print.
Goligher, Ewan C., et al. “Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia in the ICU: A Dialogue on Core Ethical Issues.” Critical care medicine 45.2 (2017): 149-155. Print.
ProCon.org.” Should Euthanasia or Physician-assisted Suicide Be Legal? Updates 9 Mar.2017 http://euthanasia.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=001320 Accessed 21 April. 2017.
Span, Paula. “Physician Aid in Dying Gains Acceptance in the U.S.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 16 Jan. 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/16/health/physician-aid-in-dying.html?_r=0 Accessed 21 April. 2017.
Zakaria, Rafia. “OPINION: Assisted Suicide Should Be Legal.” Al Jazeera America. Al Jazeera America, 24 Oct. 2014. http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/10/assisted-suicidebrittanymaynardoregondeathwithdignity.html Accessed 21 April. 2017.