Você está na página 1de 6

Ducey 1

Marissa Ducey
Rogers 4
Government
13 October 2016
Assisted Suicide

The idea of Assisted Suicide(AS), has been a well debated topic all over the world. This
starts with whether or not a terminally ill patient has the right to die with the help of a physician.
Some say it is cruel to allow a patient to be in pain and suffer for the rest of their life. Others say
it is morally wrong to end the life of someone. When people think of Assisted Suicide, there are
two sides. People for AS, believe that it is a way to end the suffering of a terminally ill patient
painlessly. People against AS, say that physicians are killing or murdering, their patients.
Physicians are constantly caught in the middle. People that argue against Assisted Suicide say it
is against a physicians moral standards to do no harm. Doctors and other medical personnel
are supposed to help and heal people, not kill them. However, how could a physician deny a
patients wish to end their painful life? Currently, Assisted Suicide is legal in five states in the
United States and several other countries around the world. The Humane and Dignified Death
Act of 2016 should be passed because it is inhumane to make a person suffer in pain, a patient
reserves the right to end their life in a dignified way and the patient deserves the right to alleviate
the medical costs on the family.
Making a terminally ill patient live out the rest of their life suffering is heartless and
inhumane. Patients are sometimes given years, months or just days to live. But if they decide that

Ducey 2

it is too hard for them, too painful, then they should have to choice to end their life. For years,
Physician Assisted Suicide has been a topic in medicine: Suffering has always been a part of
human existence. Requests to end suffering by means of death through both physician-assisted
suicide and euthanasia have occurred since the beginning of medicine(Important Facts about
Assisted Suicide). It is cruel to ignore the last wish of a dying patient. Medical technology
advances and medications have made it easier and possible to prolong the death of someone.
Many times, patients are hooked up to different machines, for example a ventilator. But those
machines are just prolonging their death and making the suffering of terminally ill patients
worse. Patients endure constant pricking and prodding to keep them alive. How long will they
have to withstand that until it is time to die? Dr. Scott Weiss of Bostons Beth Israel Hospital
has described sticking needles in and thumping on the chest of a terminally ill patient about
to die, as a violent and brutal way to depart this world(Landau 11). It is cruel and inhumane to
put a person through something like that. Patients deserve the right opt out of any treatment that
may prolong their life and choose to end their life if they want to. Medications, such as morphine
may lessen their pain. But it will never allow them to return to the person they once were. While
many are profoundly opposed to the concept of assisted death, there are a growing number who
have come to believe that, for some patients whose pain and suffering cannot be controlled,
hastening their dying is the most inhumane form of treatment their profession can
offer(Woodman 11). For a terminally ill patient whose pain cannot be controlled, an option that
should be available to everyone is Assisted Suicide. All physicians should give this choice to
their patients, as long as they are terminally ill. This gives them a painless way to end their life of
suffering in a dignified way.

Ducey 3

Not only is AS a way of ending a patients misery, it is also to allow them to die in a
dignified manner. Pain and suffering are not the only burdens that accompany the effects of a
terminal illness: Suffering means more than pain; there are other physical, existential, social and
psychological burdens such as the loss of independence, loss of sense of self, and functional
capacities that some patients feel jeopardize their dignity. It is not always possible to relieve
suffering.

Thus Physician Assisted Death may be a compassionate response to

unremitting suffering(Braddock). A patient who is dealing with a terminal illness, will never be
be the same person as they once were, before they got sick. They will constantly have to rely on
family members and most likely medical personnel, in order to get by each day. They will never
be able to do the same activities as they did before they got sick. Those people should be able to
make one final decision on their own fate. People who are terminally ill, have the right to do
whatever they would like with their life, as long as they do not do any harm to other
people(Andre). As long as the patients decision does not harm anyone else, then they should be
able to make the choice to end their life. A terminally sick patient should be allowed to die with
dignity, in a painless way. Not only should a terminally ill patient be able to choose to die,
because they are in pain, they should also be able to choose in order to stop any financial burdens
of medical costs on the family.
Terminal illness comes with a high cost. Terminal illness affect not only the patient but
also his/her entire family. Medicine and doctors have failed to save the life of a dear family
member and the bills of the continuing treatment keep stacking up. Sometimes families are not
able to pay all of the medical bills that come with dealing with a terminal illness. In 1993, Dr.
Dworkin said: The cost of maintaining [a dying person]. . . has been estimated as ranging from

Ducey 4

about two thousand to ten thousand dollars a month (Dworkin 187). If families payed that much
in medical costs in the 90s, could you imagine how much it would cost now? Maybe, double or
triple! Most times, the family is too worried about their sick family member and it is only later
when they realize how much they owe because of medical bills. In the wake of trying to mourn
their lost family member, they have to worry about how they will pay for all the bills. Dr.
Dworkin author of Lifes Dominion, says that many people . . . want to save their relatives the
expense of keeping them pointlessly alive . . .(Dworkin 193). Terminally ill patients do not
want to leave a stack of bills for their family when they are gone. If the Humane and Dignified
Death Act of 2016 was made legal in all states, then a terminally ill patient could try and reduce
the amount of financial burdens that they would leave behind. They could end their life earlier
rather than prolonging their death.
Many people that are against Assisted Suicide say that it is against a physicians morals
to assist in killingtheir patient, and that the patients decision to end their life may be
persuaded by other people. Physicians are supposed to keep their patient alive at all costs. They
do everything in their power to make sure their patient lives out the rest of their life. Others
have argued that PAD is not ethically permissible because PAD runs directly counter to the
traditional duty of the physician to preserve life and to do no harm(Braddock). Doctors are not
supposed to hurt or harm their patients, but instead heal and help. That is why physicians are
constantly criticized in performing this type of medical procedure. Doctors are never taught to
kill or hurt their patients. It is against a physician's moral duties as someone in medicine, to
do something like Assisted Suicide. Many times, a patients decision to end their life cannot be a
rational decision. The patients family could be forcing or persuading their family to end their

Ducey 5

life. This could be caused by a number of things, for example financial reasons. By contrast,
opponents of physician-assisted suicide tend to assume that the family's influence will make it
highly likely that the patient's choice of death cannot truly be said to be rational(Brody). The
family's influence could make it so that it is not the patients own decision. They may feel
pressured to make the choice of ending their life, due to variety of reasons. Thus, it is not a
rational decision coming from the patient who is terminally ill.
The Humane and Dignified Death Act of 2016 should be passed because it is cruel to
make someone suffer, a terminally ill patient should be able to choose to die with dignity, and
take away the burdens of medical costs on their family. This Bill should be passed and become a
Federal law because it will allow terminally ill patients to die with dignity and end their painful
suffering. This Act would allow all terminally ill patients, the option to end their suffering and to
die the way that they choose.

Ducey 6

Works Cited

Braddock, Clarence H., and Mark Tonelli R. "Physician Aid-in-Dying." : Ethical


Topic in Medicine. University of Washington, Apr. 2013. Web. 11 Sept. 2016.

Dworkin, Ronald. Lifes Dominion. New York: Knopf, 1993.

Landau, Elaine. The Right to Die. New York: F. Watts, 1993. Print.

Woodman, Sue. Last Rights: The Struggle over the Right to Die. New York: Plenum Trade,
1998.
Print.