Assisted Suicide Should Be Legal Essay

2376 words - 10 pages

Assisted Suicide should be legal for terminally ill patients. It is unethical that it is illegal in forty six states for a physician to humanely assist a terminally ill patient who had the mental capacity to sign a directive stating that they wished to end their life on their own terms. Assisted suicide is by no means a new concept; in fact, it has been debated throughout the history of the world (procon.org, 2013). According to Murphy (2011), the issue really came to the forefront in the United States of America in the late eighties and early nineties when Dr. Jack Kevorkian began assisting terminally ill patients to end their lives, and although many of Dr. Kevorkian’s actions can be considered unethical, it is very hard to argue the fact that he forever changed the landscape pertaining to assisted suicide. There are many arguments both for and against the ethicality, legality, and constitutionality of assisted suicide. The following pages will attempt to validate some of the pro-assisted suicide arguments, refute some of the opposing arguments, and show the current legal landscape pertaining to assisted suicide in the United States of America.
Pro-Assisted Suicide Arguments
People that are terminally ill should have the legal right to decide to end their suffering and physicians should have the legal right to assist them. Why as a people do we see it as morally wrong to end a terminally ill patients suffering, yet at the same time we see it as morally wrong to allow a terminally ill pet to suffer? It makes absolutely no sense in the scheme of things.
According to Rubin (2010), many constitutional arguments have been brought up about the right to die, but basically the courts say that we do not have a constitutional right to die, but we do have a constitutional right to refuse treatment or to stop taking sustenance. It all seems contradictory because if you stop taking sustenance then you will die. It comes off as the courts having a very circular argument when they say that we as a people do not have the right to die. Rubin (2010) makes a very good point when he states that, in his opinion, more arguments should be made that banning assisted suicide violates the establishment clause of the U.S Constitution. Since most arguments against assisted suicide are religion based and the establishment clause says that the government cannot push religion, Rubin’s point makes perfect sense.
This country wishes to arrest doctors that assist patients who choose to end their lives. They are charged with murder at times. This is outrageous. Even though there seems to be conflicting evidence, supposedly suicide or attempted suicide is not a legally punishable offense. It is considered more of a mental health issue. If that is the fact, why is assisted suicide illegal? Just look most of the other laws in the country. If a women or man consents to sex it is not a crime of rape, if someone gives you one of their possessions it is not considered...

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