Physician assisted suicide is a controversial medical practice in which a doctor assists a terminally-ill patient with suicide It is typically requested by the patient who lacks the physical ability to commit the act on their own. Physician assisted suicide is often considered a more humane option than traditional end-of-life treatments, such as hospice care, because it provides terminally ill patients with a sense of control over the end of their lives.
Arguments for Physician Assisted Suicide
1. Right to Die: Supporters of physician assisted suicide believe that people should have the right to decide when to take their own life. It is their fundamental right to choose how and when to end their life when faced with unbearable suffering.
2. Extension of Life: Assisted suicide can be seen as an extension of life; rather than prolonging life when the patient cannot enjoy it, the patient chooses to end their life on their own terms. Supporters of the practice argue that this gives the patient a sense of dignity and autonomy in their last days.
3. Quality Over Quantity: Physician assisted suicide encourages quality of life for terminally ill patients instead of quantity. Supporters contend that terminally ill patients should be able to choose the time, place, and manner of their death, so they are not subject to a prolonged and painful death.
4. Cost Effectiveness: Supporters of physician assisted suicide argue that it is more cost effective than traditional end-of-life treatments. Assisted suicide is not only cheaper, but more dignified and humane than other medical treatments.
5. Reduce Physical and Mental Suffering: Supporters of physician assisted suicide maintain that it can reduce physical and mental suffering in patients who are terminally ill. This is because the patient has the freedom to choose when and how they will die, instead of dealing with prolonged pain and suffering.
Arguments Against Physician Assisted Suicide
1. Risk of Abuse: Opponents of physician assisted suicide argue that allowing doctors to assist in suicide opens the door for abuse by patients who do not wish to follow standard medical protocol or who want to make sure their death is swift and painless.
2. Moral Issues: Physician assisted suicide forces doctors and other healthcare professionals to make ethical decisions that may go against their moral or religious beliefs. This can create an ethical dilemma for doctors and other healthcare professionals who oppose the practice.
3. Depression: Opponents of physician assisted suicide argue that it can be a difficult medical decision to make, and can be depressing for those who are faced with the prospect of ending their life.
4. Play God: Opponents of physician assisted suicide argue that it amounts to playing God, with the doctors deciding who will live and who will die.
5. Interference with End-of-Life Care: Opponents of physician assisted suicide argue that it can interfere with end-of-life care by encouraging patients to take their own lives instead of trying other medical treatments or therapies. This could potentially deny a patient the opportunity to receive treatments they need and may even deny them a peaceful and dignified death.