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Published By: 1World Online

When I think about the argument of whether assisted suicide should be legal, the question always comes to mind, “Do we have the right to insist that a terminally ill patient suffer indefinitely, and even when there is no cure or acceptable, quality of life?”

Some people feel that we do have that right and that we must uphold the law – whether it is the law of man or the word of God himself.

So, how do those feelings originate? Are they from our own personal guilt, religious doctrine or a deep-hidden, wish to hide our own fears – as well as our selfish ambitions to be the givers of life over death?

It seems that man is more preoccupied with what satisfies his own conscience, rather than what comforts and eases the pain of the terminally ill and dying.

It intrigues me how society will lay down laws deciding when life can begin, but will fight other laws from saying when it can end.

Is it right to decide that a baby in the womb can have its life ended (up to 20-weeks) before it has even begun, but at the same time say that a life that has outlived itself should go on living forever?

Although we impose a death for a criminal act, we still want to deny it to a life that is simply trying to free itself from excruciating pain and the inevitable.

We seem to have a strange, twisted sense of when one should live and when one should die.

Why do we put dogs and cats to sleep to end their suffering but deny that right to humans?

When a person feels that they can no longer go on, and to simply, exist would be an insult to life itself – it sends out a clear message. It tells us that all hope is gone and that the desire of that person to fight and survive is over.

Who are we to question that? Are we that selfish and self-centered?

Society needs to get over itself.

The people who like to play God need to stop trying to prolong a life that has no value.

The value of a man’s life should not be measured by how long it can be extended, but by how it was lived before it began to die.

 

Joseph E. Rathjen is a freelance writer and an Opinion Writer at 1World Online – America’s Fastest Growing Social Research Engine.

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15 thoughts on “Why Assisted Suicide Should Be Legal For Terminally Ill Patients

  1. “The value of a man’s life should not be measured by how long it can be extended, but by how it was lived before it began to die.”

    A particularly powerful statement this, Joe.

    And I think it is brilliantly said and spoken, as it were.

    This is, of course, a contentious issue, but as usual, you don’t shy away from the difficult topics – you face them head on. This is food for thought, and I always appreciate it.

    I’m proud to say, that just recently, the province of Quebec, which is my home province, has finally passed legislation on this very topic – doctor assisted “suicide” – although I firmly believe “suicide” is clearly the wrong term for the “right to choose when it is appropriate to end one’s life.”

    All in all, a very debatable, issue, but given the appropriate circumstances of each person’s situation, I believe it should be an option. Everyone should have the right to die with dignity.

    Great article/post.

    • I agree, Pat, that it should not be considered suicide. Maybe “Doctor-Assisted-Termination” would be more appropriate? Dying with dignity should be the patient’s right, not the call of someone who is not feeling the same pain.

      Thanks for the compliments!

      • Couldn’t agree with you more, although “termination” sounds off to me too — a more “humane” phrase would be more up my alley, personally, something like “Doctor Assisted Death with Dignity” — but then we are getting wordy. At any rate, it’s the principles that count – although how we “name” it plays a huge role in the perceptions and receptions of the populace.

        Have a great weekend. 🙂

  2. Well said – a terminally ill person, suffering excruciating physical pain that has no real or miraculous chance of recovery should be allowed the dignity of taking a lethal pill or injection instead of his/her next pain killer pill or morphine injection…

  3. I totally agree, inavukic. And I like your idea of a pill or an injection. Isn’t that how we end the life of a person who is on death row? We don’t seem to want them to continue to suffer, do we?

    • Interesting point this Joe – as it relates to your post as well. In the case of a death-row inmate, we are “all too happy” as it were, to offer a humane form of terminating a life; in essence, as you’ve mentioned, we’re “okay” with imposing a death sentence for certain crimes, and yet ironically, we consider it a “crime” to withhold humane options for the terminally ill. What right to we have to “play God” in either case?

      It seems we are able to distinguish and set laws governing “right and wrong” in views of protecting society and making decisions about when it is appropriate to end another person’s life. Yet we are unable to consider that in essence, if we strip it all down, in my opinion, we really don’t have this right either. It is not up to us to act as “judge, jury and executioner” — in the most philosophical sense and essence of the words – and yet we are morally and ethically “okay” with this. It seems the idea of “punishment fitting a crime” makes it allowable for us to consider lethal injection as a “decent and correct” choice.

      It is all together strange, in my view, that we are so self-righteously loud in voicing our disapproval in considering that people should have the legal right to die with dignity.

  4. I would suggest that you read the following article before you insist that euthanasia falls under the purview of the men on earth. The Dutch have found that the determination of the time of death is better left in God’s hands and too easily abused when undertaken by feckless, and fallible, humans.
    http://www.mercatornet.com/careful/view/14424
    Thanks for following my blog.

    • Kqduane, Where in that article is God mentioned? The author of that article wrote himself, “Is it because the law should have had better safeguards?”

      Why would an academic find it unusual that cases would multiply once it became legal? Isn’t this what happened with abortions in America once they became legal?

      Of course abuse of the privilege will run rampant. Doesn’t it in everything else? Maybe he should be pointing his finger at the doctors who have taken full advantage of the law for financial gain.

      If your argument is based on religious beliefs than I can respect and support that fully.

      I think the author misses the point though, that a law’s effectiveness can only be measured when it is used properly, not abused.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. 😊

  5. I think if a persons life is over, if they can’t choose to do anything for themselves, then they should be allowed to die. I don’t consider a body being kept alive by nothing but machines to be the same thing as a person living! I would even go further than that, if a person has no real hope of ever being able to live the life THEY CHOOSE, then they should be allowed to die, they shouldn’t have any ‘exceptional measures’ taken to extend their ‘life’.
    Personally, I have a living will. I change it all the time since the way it came was much too strict for me. It would allow them to do all sorts of things to keep me alive when I would really have no life left. I would NEVER want to be kept alive if it took tubes, machines, etc! Just leave me alone and get it over with! I don’t want to drag it on for my pain and misery OR leave the expenses for others.
    One other point I’d like to make. I think the laws against suicide are completely idiotic! What are they going to do to you? Does anybody really think a LAW is going to stop somebody who is seriously considering suicide? Another point, who’s life is it? YOURs to decide what to do with it? Or somebody elses? Any law against it would imply that it’s NOT your life. So, answer this then, who’s exactly is it?
    Again, the laws against suicide are idiotic (as well as totally against the principles of individual liberty this country was founded to PROTECT).

    • Capt Jill, I agree that prolonging one’s death while they are in agony is useless. It is also demeaning to the human condition. It also takes a toll on the people who are closest to them. Keeping someone alive when there is no hope for them is nothing but big business. Everyone prospers except the patient and their loved ones. Trying to keep them alive in a state of paralysis, etc., is only for society’s selfish purposes.

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