Doctor assisted suicide should not be legalized
Assisted suicide has been a highly controversial topic in the last thirty years. Assisted suicide means that patients who has terminal ailment request doctors to give a vital medicine for relieving. This issue involves both ethical and legal sectors about the right of a patient to die with dignity and the original duties of a doctor. In this essay, I would like to make a comparison of both among people who think doctor assisted suicide is a right that people have and those who think that suicide is illegal and immoral. Then, I would come with a conclusion that doctors who aid a patient to commit suicide are illegal and unacceptable, which should be penalized according to the law.
As we know that assisted suicide is illegal according to most of the state laws. It is legal in several places, including Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and three American states (Oregon, Washington and Montana). An assisted suicide is a form of murder as it is valid that a doctor gives some vital medicine in purpose to let a patient die. There is no doubt that murder is defined that people kill other deliberately. So, a doctor help people to commit suicide should also go into the jail as of a murderer as punishment.
However, some people believe that these doctors have not done anything wrong and should continue what they do and their practice. The group of people advocates euthanasia, which means a painless and easy way to die. But, how can we set the line to determine which level of pain can commit suicide? Does it include a person who wants to die as he needs to endure mentally pain every day? Does it include a person who has to receive continually painful treatment every day but his ailment is not vital at all?
Committing suicide is an act of weakness that people want to find an easy and quick way to escape from suffering.
Apart from being illegal, doctor assisted suicide is also immoral. Doctors who commit these crimes have violated many of the rules and values that they agreed to follow when they became a doctor. As we all know, a doctor’s job is to help a patient and save patient’s life, but not help the patient to end their lives. This is totally distort the value what we always insist. Doctors who have aided patients in committing assisted suicides have violated the Hippocratic Oath, which is oath that doctor must swear to before he receives his license. The Hippocratic Oath states, I will not give poison to anyone, though asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a plan? This means that doctors are not able to provide poison or a vital dose of medicine to anyone, or even at the patient’s request.
Unfortunately, many doctors do not follow this Oath. A study shows the fact that there is one-fifth of all doctors and nurses have aided patient to end their life in America. If there is no one following the Oath, then it is meaningless to have it and no one has to swear on it to be a doctor. Severe penalties have to be carried out to set up a deterrent effect. Doctors who violate the Oath of Hippocrates should no longer be able to practice medicine. Therefore, prescribing lethal doses of medicine should also result in a suspension.
The exception to the rule is that the Hippocratic Oath states that a doctor should not prolong suffering. This means that the doctor cannot keep a dying person on life support. However, this doctor is not able to aid a reasonably healthy person who suffers from illness occasionally to commit suicide. In other words, doctors should not assist committing suicide, which is merely requested by the patients.
In fact, I believe that many doctors do not support doctor assisted suicide.
Many people argue that assisted suicide allows a person to die with dignity. The truth is that committing suicide is far from a dignified death. A dignified death means that the person committed a great act of heroism. An example of someone who died a dignified death is a soldier who gave up his life in order for protecting his own country or someone who sacrifices himself to save others, like Dr. Joanna Tse who died from SARS. However, doctors who aid patients in committing suicides are doing the reverse of what such heroes did. Some doctors just spend a few short hours on assisting a person to kill himself for the sake of returning with more money. Also, someone who has committed suicide has not performed a great act of heroism, and instead performed a great act of cowardice. A person who has killed himself has not saved anyone, and may also hurt his family members.
Doctors should try to convince their patients not to commit suicide. There should be more doctors like those who try to keep a patient living. Doctors should get talks with the patients who want to die and try their best to counsel them, may be take a month time or longer. It is nearly impossible that giving the pills to the patients decided to commit suicide on Monday and on Tuesday would have changed his mind. Doctors should not tell people that their lives are bad and that the best thing that they can do is kill themselves.
If a patient comes to a doctor and asks the doctor for aid in committing a suicide, the doctor should have a lengthy conversation with this person. In the conversation, the doctor should do whatever it can keep the patient from committing suicide. The doctor and the patient should weigh the advantages and the disadvantages of committing suicide. There are many things that need to be taken into consideration when a patient wants to commit suicide, although many times the doctor will not discuss the topic with the patient. The patient and the doctor should not only see what effect this may cause on the patient, but also on the friends and family of the patient. If this patient commits suicide, he is not only a fragile person, but also a selfish person. Sometimes a patient may commit suicide without even consulting their loved ones. No matter how serious the situation the final answer should be “NO" to suicide.
Many doctors claim that aiding a patient to commit suicide is a form of mercy. Many serial killers also claim that they killed their victims as an act of mercy but these serial killers are thrown in jail for life. However, since a doctor commits this crime in a less violent manner, he is not charged with any crime. Action must be taken against doctors who aid patients in committing suicide. These doctors should at least lose their license if not taken to court and charged with murder.
A woman named Renee did everything in her ability to stay alive. She had brain cancer that later spread to her neck. Because of these tumors, she had many hallucinations. She could sometimes hold a coherent conversation and later become completely insane. Yet with all these problems, she still did not consider the idea of suicide. She did not believe that this would be a good way to die. She had many operations before she finally came to the decision that she wanted to end her life. Although she killed herself in the end, she believed that it was the easy way out.
Doctor assisted suicide remains a topic that is very controversial. The fact of the matter is that these practices are illegal. Even if doctors who practice this were allowed to do so by law, their practices are still morally wrong. Many factors need to be taken into consideration, such as the reaction of loved ones, the legality, and the morality of this issue. Some of the factors that prohibit a doctor from doing so are religion, law, and the Hippocratic Oath that every doctor must swear to obey once he becomes a doctor. For this practice to be allowed, there would have to be a world with no laws, religion, or feelings toward others.