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What Is Assisted Suicide And Is It Morally OK?

Submitted by solomon on Fri, 01/19/2018 - 14:57
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Pic: Pexels Creative Commons / Pixabay

In 2016, 47 British people went to Switzerland to end their lives. Assisted suicide means suicide effected with the assistance of another person, especially the taking of lethal drugs provided by a doctor for the purpose by a patient suffering from a terminal illness or incurable condition.

Why do people go ahead with assisted suicide?

People with terminal illnesses feel they should have the right to end their lives because no drug can cure their suffering. Furthermore, people who have severe mental illnesses often cannot control their minds to stop thinking about suicidal thoughts.

Why do people help patients commit suicide?

There are many people who help those end their lives, for example, American pathologist Jack Kevorkian helped at least 130 people end their lives. The first person he publicly helped commit suicide was Janet Adkins, a 54-year-old who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1989 and ended her life in 1990. He was convicted of murder, but the charges were later dropped as there were no laws in Michigan regarding assisted suicide at the time. His medical license was taken away from him in 1993. His preferred methods were lethal injections through the vein or, the 'death machine' where he would supply patients with carbon monoxide through a gas mask.

What countries legalised assisted suicide?

Not a lot of countries have legalised assisted suicide, however, countries such as Switzerland, The Netherlands, 5 states in the US, Germany and Belgium all allow assisted suicide to happen. The Netherlands became the first nation to ever allow assisted suicide to take place. On April 2002, The Netherlands released the conditions that will make you eligible to commit assisted suicide, they were: the patient must be suffering unbearable pain, their illness must be incurable, and the demand must be made in "full consciousness" by the patient. In 2010, 3,136 people were given a lethal cocktail under medical supervision.

Why is assisted suicide so controversial?

The idea of assisted suicide is disputed amongst many people, as everyone has various reasons for their beliefs. One main point for people who disagree with assisted suicide is that legalising assisted suicide gives the public a message that life is not worth it, as there is an option to end your life. On the other hand, many argue that it won’t affect the vulnerable as many old, disabled people choose to go ahead with assisted suicide, rather than younger generations, unless they have an illness that cannot be treated. In the UK assisted suicide is illegal under the Suicide Act 1961 and could give you 14-year imprisonment.

By Selma and Bryan