Assisted suicide is an action whereby an individual assists another one to bring about his death or end his life voluntarily without being forced. This is the opposite of euthanasia whereby a different person ends the life. Although development and medicinal technology have enabled us to save many lives than the past, laws have been enacted to allow medical personnel end lives of some patients like the terminally ill but upon the request of the patient. The law clearly states that, suicide is not a crime but assisting to do it will depend upon the laws of the society. Many supporters of legalizing assisted suicide say that, every individual has a right to choose life or death, as long as they don’t harm or hurt others in the process. Over a long period of time, debates have been hitting on religious, moral, legal, illegal or undecided means of suicide all depending on the jurisdiction system or the culture of the place (Kluge 3).
As for my case, I support the legalization of assisted suicide due to various reasons as explained below. Sometimes patients find themselves under a lot of pain that leads them eventually to succumb to death. These people should be assisted to die instead of going through all the pain before dying. A good example is when one is a victim of a road accident. This individual gets serious injuries that even doctors lose hope on the chances of the casualty surviving. It is good for the medical personnel to assist the causality die instead of undergoing a lot of pain, wasting a lot of funds for the individual’s hospital bills, only for the person to die later (Grish 34).
Another reason why assisted suicide should be legalized is that, some people undergo a lot of depression due to various reasons associated with life to an extent that they resist counseling. These people eventually decide to commit suicide without telling their family members why they took their lives. This leaves the family members with many questions unanswered on why this particular person did so. Some cultures attribute the suicide to bad spirits, bad omens, ancestral spirits and this brings them fear throughout their lives. They live knowing that there is an evil spirit in the family lineage. Some communities refuse to intermarry with them because they associate them with evil spirits. To end this fear and doubts, assisted suicide will enable these individuals explain their reasons for wanting to die before dieing so that the rest of the family members remain in peace (Kluge 17).
Some individuals commit suicide in a threatening way like jumping off buildings, burning themselves in buildings, drowning in big water sources like lakes among others which leave behind ugly images. Some people and more especially the young children who view these bodies get scared and they are haunted so much especially in dreams during the night. If an individual is assisted to commit suicide, at least people will be aware of his cause of death and maybe his body will not be availed for viewing (Grish 79).
Some patients who suffer from incurable diseases like HIV/AIDS, and more especially those from poor backgrounds would like to die before their days of death because they know that, they will never heal hence they will eventually die. They might want to die earlier so as not to expense their loved ones by spending so much money to pay their hospital bills and take care of their special needs. May be they will want to save the money to be used to educate their children who will be left as orphans or the money can benefit any other member of the family. These people should be assisted to die as per their wish so that they can rest happily, knowing that they have left their loved ones with some funds to enable them get a bright future (Hayden 68).
Some people will wish to die so that their body parts can be given to higher institutions of learning for the purpose of research. This is common to lovers of knowledge and education. These people should be allowed to accomplish their wishes by assisting them to die. Others will wish to die so that they can donate their body parts or organs to those who want to live long. For example, many patients die of kidney failure, heart failure, and liver failure among other body organs. May be they will have wished to live longer than they did, but the failing of their body organs shuns their dreams. It is better for those who do not want to live to undergo assisted suicide so that their body organs can save the lives of those patients who die of various organs failure and they could have wished to live longer.
Every individual should be given a right to have control over his or her life. The right to die should be a fundamental freedom of each person so that one decides whether to live or die. Some people just live for the sake but they wish every other second that they were dead. A good example are the aged who grow old to a point of being fed, being bathed, someone has to wash their short and long calls because they do it from wherever they are, they have to be assisted to walk around, et cetera. These people become a burden to others to an extent that they wish to die and rest in peace. As long as these people wish to die, they should be assisted to do so; after all they have finished their business in this world (McDougall & Gorman 213).
Assisted suicide lets people die with dignity because those left behind will not be left to blame themselves that may be they could have done something to prevent the suicide. Assisted suicide will leave everyone comfortable that they did not contribute to the committing of suicide of so and so. For example, if a mother and daughter had a quarrel over the night and in the following morning, the daughter commits suicide because her boyfriend cheated on her the week before. The mother will live to blame herself being the cause of her daughter’s death which is not the case. Assisted suicide will enable the mother to know why the daughter chose to die. Some societies depending on their culture will consider this woman unclean and associate her with evil spirits. To avoid the same happening in future, they will kill this woman so as to kill the evil spirit in her that makes people commit suicide. Assisted suicide will also lessen the fear attributed to death. Many people associate death with evil not knowing that, it is the destiny of every man. May be legalizing suicide will make people understand that death is like any other process or cycle in an individual’s life like birth, initiation or marriage. The unique thing about it is that, it is the last rite that marks the end of one’s life.
In conclusion, assisted suicide should be legalized in countries that have not legalized it. Some of those that have legalized it have seen its benefits over the unassisted suicide committed in many states. This is especially more important to medically hastened death by request like in Switzerland, Netherlands and some of the American states. Assisted suicide can be done in several ways like self starvation and dehydration depending on the choice of the person who wants to die (Wolfslast 123).
Grish, Gaye. “Right to Die News Letter.” World Federation of Right to Die Societies: ensuring choices for a dignified death. Spring 2008. World Federation of Right to Die Societies. 3 Apr 2009 <https://www.worldrtd.net/node/857>.
Hayden LA. “Helping Patients with End-Of-Life Decisions”. The American Journal of Nursing 99.4 (2009): 24BB–24EE.
Kluge, Eike-Henner. “Assisted Suicide, Ethics and the Law: The Implication of Autonomy and Respect for Persons, Equality and Justice, and Beneficence”. In Prado, C.G. Assisted Suicide: Canadian Perspectives. Ottawa, Canada: University of Ottawa Press, 2007.
McDougall, Jennifer Fecio, Gorman, Martha. Contemporary World Issues: Euthanasia. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2008.
Wolfslast, Gabriele. “”Physician-Assisted Suicide and the German Criminal Law.””. In Birnbacher, Dieter; Dahl, Edgar. Giving Death a Helping Hand: Physician Assisted Suicide and Public Policy. An international Perspective. Germany: Springer, 2008.