Physician-assisted suicide occurs when a physician facilitates a patients death by providing the necessary means or information to enable such patient to perform a life-ending act. This includes when a physician provides a patient with sleeping pills and information on its lethal dosage, while well aware the patients intent on committing suicide. This paper will highlight the main arguments as to why physician-assisted or the act of being euthanasia should be a right granted to all people suffering from a terminal illness and do not wish to live with the pain they have any longer. The reasons physician-assisted suicide should be legal is because it gives a terminally ill patient the right to die as well as the option to die with dignity, it prevents health care officials from illegally ending patients lives without their consent, and by offering medically assisted suicide it allows us to be compassionate by ending all the pain and suffering felt by the patient in addition to helping with the emotional pain experienced by the patients loved ones.
Generally, most people are for euthanasia. A 2012 Angus Reid Poll found that 80% of Canadian respondents was for euthanasia under certain conditions. Another poll in 2013 found that 86% of Quebec respondents were for it, following a 2010 survey which found the highest levels of support in Quebec at 78% and the lowest in Alberta, at 48%. (Milne, Konkin, Sullivan, August 2014). But there is still a significant amount of people who feel that the idea of physician-assisted or euthanasia, regardless of the persons health condition, is wrong and inhumane. This ideology is incorrect as the act of physician-assisted suicide is far from inhumane and is in fact completely ethical and sympathetic to human life. It gives a terminally ill patient the right to die and allows them to die with dignity by letting them have options. It is simply wrong to have patients suffering from symptoms such as unremitting severe pain, breathing difficulties, and nausea/vomiting(Spinney, 46) when they seek relief that we just cannot provide to them. The only other option would be to have them euthanized which would painlessly end their suffering. Physically-assisted suicide also grants people with the right to die. In the Charter of Rights and Freedoms states in section 7 that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person. If a person has the right to live, they should also have the right to die. By having the right to live, it logically implies that you also have the right to die... If you have the right to voluntarily live, then that life is truly yours only if you also have the corollary right to voluntarily give it up. If someone has lost all hope and motivation to continue on living and wishes to end his/her life, are other people in any position to tell or even force the person to choose otherwise? By giving a person the right to die, we are allowing them to end their suffering and non the less have them die knowing they had the choice.
Secondly, physician-assisted suicide can prevent health care officials from illegally ending their patients suffering without their consent. This sounds unheard of, but behind closed doors these things do happen and we should become more aware of them. A study made by the New England Journal of Medicine in 2005, found that only 0.4 percent of all euthanasia procedures were carried out without the patient’s explicit permission. And in 1991 – a report written nearly a decade before the first one – put the number at 0.8 percent, concluding that doctors were given the nationwide go-ahead to legally end their patients lives actually have halved the number of unwanted deaths. . Another study conducted in 2012 in Britain had discovered that as many as 57,000 patients each year die without being told that efforts to keep them alive have been stopped. These are some concerning statistics to consider, as it shows that doctors still go through with