Study of Aging & Suicide Essay

Submitted By sheilalamar
Words: 732
Pages: 3

The Conspiracy of Assisted Suicide Ethics can be defined as the universal knowledge of what is right and wrong. Morals, however, differ between individuals and are dependent on one’s ideals, principles, and beliefs. Social norms in the United States have been studied more and more frequently to identify how the normative views of a society relate to individual differences in moral compasses. Social norms have changed over time, as seen in the idea of the “American family” as well as the way we dress, talk, date, and especially in the way we view others in a post-modern society. Katz summarizes, “The aged subject becomes encased in a social matrix where moral disciplinary conventions around activity, health, and independence appear to represent an idealized old age” (pg. 127). More recently, society has become more understanding, creating a more proactive, modern way of life for Americans. In my essay, I will focus on assisted suicide and the quality of life for the elderly as it relates to morality. America has made strides in the decades past in modern medicine by preserving lives with surgeries and medications and extending life expectancy. “Whereas modern medicine has brought great benefits to humanity, it cannot entirely solve the pain and distress of the dying process.” (Humphry, D.. N.p.. Web. 3 Jun 2013. http://www.assistedsuicide.org/liberty_and_death_manifesto_right_to_die.html). Assisted suicide is becoming more and more popular as elderly people’s quality of life deteriorates. This results in attempting to sustain those lives longer and longer. In 2009, after the “Death and Dignity Act” was passed in Washington, sixty-three individuals requested lethal prescriptions to end their own lives. Eight-two percent of these people gave their reason for wanting to end their own lives as avoiding a “loss of dignity.” Another twenty-three percent did not want to place a burden upon their families by staying alive (Smith, P. J. n. page. ). But how, I wonder, must the families of these individuals feel after realizing they have made such a decision? The pain and suffering that family members and loved ones must experience in these situations can often be just as difficult as that of the patient. Deciphering where the line is drawn between living and living the way you want to live can be unbearable for families, yet it is sure to test both their moral and ethical boundaries, defining them and often bringing them closer together. Those who value compassion and have more sensitive morals will favor in support of assisted suicide, as it pertains to preserving the quality of life. Someone who’s body is slowly and painfully deteriorating may wish to be put out of their misery, as this is not the quality of life they ever wanted for themselves. Assisted suicide laws vary from state to state and even country to country. Currently, the only five places that openly and…