Person’s Right to Die
Life cannot be considered enjoyable when it consists of physical and mental torment without the hope of relief. If sophisticated medical technologies support a person’s existence, life ceases to be desired. Among the arguments in favor of euthanasia, there is the economic aspect: the funds spent on supporting the lives of hopelessly sick people can be a burden for relatives of patients. Finally, a person has the right to independently manage his or her life.
Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide
Physician-assisted suicide is often considered a method of euthanasia, but it is not. With regard to euthanasia, the doctor independently manages the method that leads to death – usually a mortiferous drug. In the case of assisted suicide, it is necessary that a person being able in mind voluntarily expresses his or her desire to die and asks for a dose of the drug (Emanuel et al., 2016). A distinctive aspect is that the physician-assisted suicide procedure requires the patients to administer the medication on their own.
Euthanasia should be legal, as it might become the leading and the only motive for the doctor to help manage the patient’s suffering. End of life must be preceded by particular conditions including unbearable pain, an incurable disease, or an irreversible coma. In this context, the death of the patient becomes the way to end his or her torment. The doctor must choose the most painless for a patient way to part with life.
Legalizing Physician-Assisted Suicide
Physician-assisted suicide should be legal as long as the proper medical, physical, and, more importantly, mental examination to prevent a mistake will be established. If a person claims to be entitled to death, then he or she should have strong reasons for that such as a terminal disease, the inability to walk or speak after any incident, and, as a result, a sense of worthlessness for his or her family or society (Pormeister et al., 2017). For instance, in Switzerland, the non-profit organization – Dignitas – offers to organize assisted suicide for people suffering from incurable diseases, unbearable pain, or intolerable disability (Pormeister et al., 2017). Physician-assisted suicide is legalized at the state level, and the procedure can be applied to foreign citizens.
Emanuel, E. J., Onwuteaka-Philipsen, B. D., Urwin, J. W., & Cohen, J. (2016). Attitudes and practices of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Jama, 316(1), 79-90.
Pormeister, K., Finley, M., & Rohack, J. J. (2017). Physician assisted suicide as a means of mercy: A comparative analysis of the possible legal implications in Europe and the United States. Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law, 24, 1.