Should assisted suicide be legal?
PHI 103 Informal Logic
Professor John Moore
January 24, 2011
Assisted suicide laws are clear in many countries and it is illegal, however there are some countries and states such as Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and three American states: Oregon, Washington and Montana it is legal. “In ancient Greece, the government gave hemlock to those who wanted it. William Shakespeare memorialized the Roman practice in Julius Caesar by depicting Brutus running into the sword held by Strato. Opposition to the practice is also not new, including in the United States; by 1868, more than half of the thirty-seven states ...view middle of the document...
The requestor is usually terminally ill. There are many reasons why someone would request physician assisted suicide or for short PAS. A terminally ill person who maybe suffering in pain, a terminally ill person who feels like they have become a burden to their family; a lonely person that is suffering from a life-limiting illness and has no one to offer care and support to them. They are unable to make their own decisions about their life anymore.. They've lost their independence and feel like they have no quality of life. Some just refuse to suffer anymore; they want to be permanently relived from the suffering they are enduring with the illness Physician assisted suicide should be a right granted to anyone who is suffering from a painful, deteriorate, or fatal condition that is the causing them to be unable to enjoy their lives as healthy people. Although there are certainly several arguments against this point of view on assisted suicide, it is not up to other people to make decisions that violate the rights of elderly people, sick, and/or poor people. There are several definitions within both the medical and legal communities about assisted suicide but in general, the toughest debate is when a suicide is assisted by a physician as opposed to a family member.
Matthew Bonnelly, a researcher on the use of x-rays suffered from skin cancer. Matthew lost his left hand, his nose, part of his jaw and two fingers on his right hand. The doctors estimated he had one year to live. However, Matthew suffering from all of this pain he wanted to die. Doctors refused his request. Matthew asked his brothers to do it. A few weeks passed by and his youngest brother shot and killed him. We as the healthy people do not know what the sick has to endure with doctor’s appointments, pain, and suffering. “In all surveys, unrelieved psychosocial and mental suffering is the most common stimulus for requests. In one study (van der Wal et al), patients who were depressed were 4 to 5 times more likely to have made serious inquiries about PAS or euthanasia. Physical suffering, including pain, is a less frequent motivator than many think in one study (van der Maas), pain alone was a rare motivator in 3% of requests, one of several motivators in 46% of requests, and not cited as a factor at all in the remaining 51% of requests”(Knight & Gunten, 2004).
Part II: Anti Thesis
Many organizations opposes the legalization of assisted suicide. According to a study, in 1998 from Georgetown University’s Center for Clinical Bioethics “assisted suicide is likely to accelerate the decline in quality of our health care system” (Golden). The research found a link between cost cutting pressure on physicians and their willingness to prescribe lethal drugs to patients were it is legal to do so. Arguments over assisted suicide nearly always centers on the “slippery slope” argument “if we let X happen, the first thing you know Y will be happening” (Moore & Parker, 2007). This...