Murder, Not Suicide
Thesis – Due to social aspects, legal inconsistencies, and religious views, physician- assisted suicide should not be legalized.
II. Social issues
A. Medical ethics
III. Legal inconsistencies
B. United States of America
IV. Religious views
A. ChristianityB. Judaism
Murder, Not Suicide
“Dignity can only be taken by oneself,” said twenty-year-old Mari Mar that has been using a wheel chair operated with her chin for fourteen years (“Dignity”). Although Mari Mar suffers from an undiagnosed disorder that only allows her to move her facial and neck muscles, this Spanish young lady still enjoys an active lifestyle. MariMar is an example of life and how health problems should not lead to suicidal actions, especially when there is a supporting surrounding. Due to social issues, legal inconsistencies, and religious views, physician-assisted suicide should not be legalized.
First, as the principles that have guided social issues throughout history should be honored, physician-assisted suicide does not have to bepermitted. Although humanity has lost many of the ethics that once guided it, medical ethics are still current today. For more than twenty-three centuries, the Hippocratic oath has been taken by millions of physicians entering the ethical practice of medicine. “Since Western medicine was founded physicians have announced, ’I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advisesuch a plan’”(“The Hippocratic
Oath”). In other words, the ethics that have guided human behavior since the 4th century B.C. were against any form of physician-assisted suicide. In addition, “modern medical ethics see the killing of a patient like an unethical and immoral act” (Wolf, “Medical ethics”). By using the examples of the Hippocratic oath and the modern ethics it is possible to infer onhow long-held ideas have been followed and will probably have to be followed in the future. Therefore, the killing of a patient was not, is not, and will not be ethically approved by the majority of the members of the medical field.
In addition, physician-assisted suicide is not only about harming others but also about a suicidal act. People who suffer as a result of suicidal thoughts areoffered help in mental institutions so that they are able to go back to their normal lives. “Under current law, the 1961 Suicide Act, assisting a suicide is a crime punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment” (Mc Cuen 12). Logically, if a physician is assisting a patient to commit suicide he deserves a fourteen-year jail term. When a terminally ill patient wishes to die, it is generally due tountreated pain, undiagnosed depression, or social isolation. “In palliative care, once the medical team deems a patient’s condition terminal, they focus on making the patient feel comfortable and ready to die peacefully” (Finn). Thanks to the advanced technology used today to comfort a patient, the acts of murder and suicide shall not take place. Moreover, the psychological support provided by medicalcenters encourage the dying patients to enjoy the gift of life.
Apart from the social matters, physician-assisted suicide should not be legal worldwide due to legal inconsistencies and the conflicts those bring. In Europe, only
Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands legalized physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia, which is “taken from the Greek euthanatos, ‘good or easy death’” (Wolf,“Euthanasia”). As in Great Britain any suicidal act is considered illegal, the permitted euthanasia in other European nation leads to conflict. Anyone who helps a terminally ill patient in Britain to travel abroad where physician-assisted suicide is legal will face imprisonment. “Peter and Penelope Duff from Bath, England died in Zurich on February 27th. Their nurse Mary Balling is now held...