First, I'd like to make a distinction between suicide and physician assisted death. When we talk about physician assisted death we're not talking about someone who wants to die because of a lack of coping skills or a chemical imbalance that can be treated with therapy and medication. We're talking about people with terminal illnesses who are going to suffer physically, mentally and emotionally until the illness takes their life in the not so distant future. We are talking about people who, given the choice, would like to continue living their lives but find themselves no longer able to do that. These people should have the right to end their lives on their own terms instead of having it painfully ripped away from them.
Many opponents of the “right to die” cite their faith as the main reason they believe it’s wrong. Their beliefs are that life is sacred and since God is the one who gave us life, it is not ours to take. This belief treats physician assisted death as morally no different from murder. If life is so sacred that we should not give someone the right to die on their terms then how is it that we allow DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) orders? Should we not, by that logic, do everything in our power to save that person, even if it means forcing them to live against their will? The argument that physician assisted death is wrong and should be illegal for everyone based on the beliefs of some people doesn’t hold up. The court has no business imposing anyone’s religious beliefs on us.
Those who have attempted or successfully committed suicide have long been called weak, sinful and cowardly by those who consider suicide to be morally wrong. Arthur Schopenhauer wrote in his essay On Suicide,