Ethically Unacceptable and Morally Wrong
Assisted Suicide: No Toleration
Should We as a Society Play God?
1.1 Background Terminally-ill patients choose to take their own life but require assistance. The state of Oregon classifies such an intention as assisted suicide and in legal terms through its Death with Dignity Act as when “a terminally ill Oregonian chooses to end their life through voluntary self administrating of legal medication, expressively prescribed by a physician for that purpose” (Dignity). The current status of assisted suicide is that in almost all of the 50 states it is considered illegal. Though, however, since 1997 when Oregon passed it’s Death with Dignity Act two other states have jumped on board. Washington adopted Initiative 1000: This measure would permit terminally ill, competent, adult Washington residents medically predicted to die within six months to request and self-administer lethal medication prescribed by a physician. The measure requires two oral and one written request, two physicians to diagnose the patient and determine the patient is competent, a waiting period, and physician verification of an informed patient decision. Physicians, patients and others acting in good faith compliance would have criminal and civil immunity. (Washington)
The Initiative 1000 Act followed in Oregon’s footsteps making Washington the second state to legalize assisted suicide. While in Montana a judgement of legalization of assisted suicide came from a single judges decision and is wide open when it comes to legal restrictions on the matter (Montana). Even though these three states have based their decision off of specific interpretation of an individuals constitutional rights. Many supporters believing that The right to die should be a fundamental freedom of each person. Like the forty seven states however, assisted Suicide should be and remain illegal in the United States.
2.0 Review of the Literature
2.1 Ethical Issue
First, the issues of ethics as well as morals have backed the campaign for opposing assisted suicide through the long controversy. Religion, family, and the basic value of life all subject against the legalization of the debate. Religiously many have referred to death as God’s Will. Most believing that God will choose when a person will leave this Earth and proceed to the Almighty Heaven but with the subject of assisted suicide it interferes as well as alters his plan. The Catholic Church for example, directly denounces assisted suicide for in their eyes as well as the eyes of God it is still murder, and an innocent life is still being ended (John Paul). Religious leaders have come to determine such a work as a direct action against God and feel that it is a sinful act. With legalizing physician-assisted suicide the value of life begins to wither away with those who choose to partake in such a procedure. Eventually with the value of life slowly deteriorating that a “slippery slope” will occur. After legalizing assisted suicide experts believe that the standards for qualifying for the procedure will no longer come into play and physician-assisted suicide will become a common practice in the medical field, all together devaluing the human life (CQ Researcher). With devaluing human life opens the door to abuse in the long run; legalizing assisted suicide will lead to the abusing of the procedure.
2.2 Professional Assistance Needed
Then, there is the position where though a patient who wishes to undergo the physician-assisted suicide medication must be competent and conscious does not always mean that they are well enough to make the decision. When a medical issue comes up and a terminally ill patient wishes to end their lives outside pressures begin to play a huge role in the overall decision. The economic pressure is a common influence on patients, though many doctors