Currently, there is a general attitude towards the rights people have. A writer said that, “Most Americans believe that choice to end one’s life is a personal decision and physician-assisted suicide death should be legal” (Reuters UK, 2008). From their births, people have rights to defend and help themselves. In their whole life, they are confronted with many choices, ranging from the simple selections to the vital options, such as physician-assisted suicide. Thus, whether a terminally ill person should be allowed to request a physician-assisted suicide, in particular, has been disputed recently. Accounted for the concerns about patients’ own interests, it is a significant issue. There are three key reasons why the physician-assisted suicide requirement is reasonable and should be permitted. First of all, it is a deep respect for the terminal patients’ choice. Secondly, the physician-assisted suicide can avoid much terrible pain. At last, this way can mitigate relatives’ suffering which is brought by patients as well as their finance. What is more, a common argument for the idea that physician-assisted suicide is illegal will be considered and the apparent problems with this opinion will also be made clear.
To begin with, everyone have a power to select what they want and patients are no exception. As students in a university have been educated, “competent persons should have a right to choose death,” which is the same to the terminally ill
(University of Washington, 2008). In addition, people value and respect autonomy. A person from HRLR (2008) said, “We chose to adopt and incorporate an existing human rights instrument as our bill or rights”. Furthermore, choosing physician-assisted suicide is a personal act, which is not criminal. Most importantly, everyone’s situation is different; leading to the outcome that one law does not suit everyone at all. Consequently, it should be valid to the terminally ill to conduct physician-assisted suicide. That is to say, patients should not be deprived of their rights by the law.
With that, it is important that physician-assisted suicide, to some extent, rescues patients from severe disease. In terms of the person who has not a living will, the high-tech skill on treatment will have no effect on them. For instance, the patients are forced to stay alive and they will obtain much torment, in spite of having the pharmaceuticals treatment. Choosing physician-assisted suicide, however, can relieve their unbearable pain, dying from the method quietly. Take people with AIDS for example, terminal patients with AIDS who usually ask for death are afraid of severe pain and being unable to care for themselves, Foley contended (1997). Besides, according to the survey of the right to die conducted by Knowledge Networks (2008), it has shown that “slightly over sixty-six percent of the Americans questioned said they desired physician-assisted suicide to be legal in their state”, due to the physical pain, emotional suffering and depression with which a great many pro-physician-assisted suicide people in U.S can not put up. It goes without saying that conduct the
survey all over the world and it will be seen that more people will favor this way.
Thirdly, not only does physician-assisted suicide good to patients but also to their relatives. It is practical for some that the way, giving patients physician-assisted suicide, can save a great deal of money. As to some impoverished families, it is impossible for them to afford the costly treatment. With relation to some wealthy families, on the contrast, there is no need to request physician-assisted suicide by the patient. They can spend much money keeping terminally ill person’s life. Meanwhile, the wealthy ones try their best to acquire high-tech treatment, causing less pain. Moreover, despite running out of all the money, high-tech treatment, not unexpectedly, may not be successful. In other words, it can not make them far away from suffering pain. A good case in point is that people are in a coma, because of sudden accidents, or people with terminally ill, on account of incurable disease, are kept alive by artificial means. Based on the investigation, “approximately one billion dollars is spent on life support patients annually” (123helpme, 2008). Therefore, in certain degrees, when the person who is terminally ill is in the family, asking for physician-assisted suicide can not only reduce relatives’ pain with which they can not share, but also save substantial money to supply this family rather than pay for the incurable disease, leading to the financial burden.
“physician-assisted suicide is legal in the Northern Territory of Australia but remain illegal in most countries” (StopPain.org, 2008). The main problem in this argument is
that “if physician-assisted suicide were legal, abuses, like murder, would take please” (University of Washington, 2008). Nevertheless, it is also true that some people will take full advantage of this method to do lawless things, but there is so much law that these things can be reduced effectively. This phenomenon that is abuses, inevitably, still exists in the corners of the world, even though physician-assisted suicide is not allowed. More importantly, patients with terminal illnesses could continue to suffer from the intractable pain and it is not fair to them, owning to the equality to everyone. On the other hand, one person claimed, “the patient is terminally ill and the treatment will only prolong the patient’s temporary, extremely painful condition” (Prof. Resnicoff S.H., 1998). In this way, doctors should be punished, because of the obvious fact. As a result, the reasonable demands for physician-assisted suicide should be satisfied, when it comes to the persons who have no opportunity to recover or whose illness are terminal.
In short, it is the request of physician-assisted suicide that should be allowed with relation to the terminally ill, or at least, it should not be illegal in some circumstances. Obviously, people should respect for and understand what terminal patients elect, although death is their final option. Meanwhile, physician-assisted suicide can get rid of patients’ severe pain and avoid adding financial burden to their relatives. In the long run, our society, even through the world, should advocate this way in order to help the patients still undergoing a variety of pain to extricate themselves. Only if more and more people approve of the issue can further steps be taken for the patients
with terminally ill to aid them.
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