Assisted Suicide Essay, Research Paper
“Should Doctors assist their patient’s death? The doctors’ obligation
is to provide every possible support during the process of dying. Do doctors
have the right to hasten the process, when requested to do so? There has been a
great deal of discussion over this topic for the past few years.”
For many years now, assisted suicide has been a debated topic of who
believes in it and who does not. The Christian faith disagrees in the act of
assisted suicide. ?This religion teaches redemptive suffering. God sends
suffering as a means of washing away people’s sins and saving their souls. It
is believed that people can be blessed if they endure their misery.?
Islam has a similar belief of the Christian faith. They believe
assisted suicide is an account of murder. In some countries, the patient who
committed suicide, and the physician, or doctor that assisted the patient,
should both go to hell. “We don’t own ourselves, we are entrusted to God and
the taking of life is the right of the one who give it.”
There are also many cultures that believe in this act of dying. Certain
cultures believe that they have the right to end a person’s life, only if the
person is suffering with an illness that will only get worse. “In China and
some parts of India, it is an ancient custom to drown newborn girls if they
think they will live a useless life.”
The Dutch believe in the act of assisted suicide as many other religions.
They believe that it is easier to end a life so the family and the other people
will not have to go through all the suffering and pain.
Many Physicians today believe that assisted suicide is the answer to end
all the pain and suffering in the world. Dr. Peter Admirral is a physician that
is known for ending more than one hundred lives in less than thirty years. “The
emotion is what you prescribed or what you have injected will cause the patient
to die. Its so opposite to normal feelings of a doctor that you have to go
through a period of resisting this. Although you must remember the patient is
Another Physician that is highly noted for assisted suicide is Dr. Jack
Kevorkian. He believes that he is a hero to all of his patients. “If it
wasn’t for me, life would seem like it would never end to all of my patients
that are suffering from illness.” “I have never actually caused a death, but I
help people exercise their last civil right. I think physicians who oppose
assisted suicides are similar to Nazi doctors, people who torture and experiment
on Holocaust victims. Actually, it is the same as torture, to watch someone
suffer when you can do something to end that suffering.”
“People from the age of 45 to the age 64 make up the largest percentage
of assisted suicide cases in the US. The people that make up most of the
percentage are people who are chronically ill with cancer or other forms of
deadly disease. People with AIDS are twelve times likely to choose euthanasia
or assisted suicide as the rest of the population.?
“Twenty-one year old Karen Quinland was at a friend’s house celebrating
a birthday. Before the birthday party, she had gone on a diet and had eaten
very little. She had also been suspected of taking tranquilizers or other kinds
of drugs. Before the party, Karen suspects of consuming a few alcoholic
beverages. Her friends said that she had then started to act kind of strange.
They decided to take her to one of the rooms in the house and lay her on the bed.
About an hour later, her friends went upstairs and checked on her, they then
found out that she was in a coma and they could not wake her. They called a
After the ambulance made back to the hospital, Karen Quinland went into
breathing deficiency. Karen’s doctor got the parents consent to put her on a
respirator. After a couple of days on the respirator, Karen’s mom decided that
Karen would probably want to end her life and would not want to suffer any more.
According to the law, taking her off of the respirator would be an act of
assisted suicide. The person whom does this would face accounts of murder and
would likely be put in prison or if lucky, prosecution. After many court cases
and arguments, the Supreme court allowed the doctor to take Karen off life
support. Most people the would argue that Karen Quinland’s privacy and her
right to make decisions was infringed. According to the law, her parent had the
right to make the decision for her since she was unable.
Janet Adkins, a member of the Hemlock Society, believes highly in self
deliverance. Self deliverance is being able to choose her own manner of death.
She suggested the idea of assisted suicide to Dr. Kevorkian. The Hemlock
Society that Adkins was a member of did not support Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Most of
the people that Kevorkian deals with are not in the absence of terminal illness.
A lot of the suicide victims are in a tragic part of there lifetime such as when
one of their family members just passed away or they might have just got a
divorce. They think that they cannot live any longer and want Kevorkian to put
them to sleep. That is abusing assisted suicide, it should only be used in case
of a terrible illness which cannot be reversed.
What about babies? If a baby was born with a major birth deficiency and
was not likely to live, should the parents have the right to put the baby to
sleep? Is that Murder? “Some Physicians argue that attempting to keep an
infant alive under such conditions is useless and only brought hardship and pain
to the families.”
“After many hearings with medical groups and advocates for handicapped,
Congress passes legislation in 1984 that allowed exemptions for treating
severely damaged infants. Doctors are no longer required to treat an infant in
a irreversible coma or to provide treatment that would only prolong dying.”
“Baby Doe is a boy that was born in a hospital in Bloomington, Indiana
in 1982. He was born with a deficiency called down syndrome, this syndrome
causes a form of mental retardation recognized at the facial characteristics.
The baby’s esophagus also was malformed, anything given by mouth would end up in
the baby’s lungs causing suffocation. Two pediatricians at the hospital
recommended that the baby should be transported to a hospital in nearby
Indianapolis, the surgery would correct the babies esophagus. Two other doctors
said that the surgery might not be successful and of course would have no
effect on the baby’s mental retardation. They also said that the baby should
stay in the Bloomington Hospital and be kept comfortable until death occurred.
As required by law, parents have to consent to any form of medical
treatment for their child. The parents then decided to keep the baby at the
Bloomington Hospital. Since other doctors disagreed with this idea, they called
an emergency hearing. The Judge then decided that Baby Doe’s parents had the
right to make an informed decision about the course of treatment for their child
as recommended by their doctor. Many disagreements came across the press after
the baby had died.? Many Right-to-life activists and handicapped people and
their advocates proclaimed that the baby should have been saved.
Assisted suicide is a blessing to many people in the World. Some say
that assisted suicide has thankfully ended the pain and suffering of their
loved ones. A lot of people also take advantage of this, mostly as a way to run
away from their problems and fears of everyday life. Assisted suicide is only a
relief to pain and suffering. The only way you or your family member should
consider this is if they are terminally ill or are expecting to have a slow