Preview
Preview

Assisted Suicide Essay

:: 6 Works Cited
Length: 4614 words (13.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Assisted Suicide

I examine the ways in which our cultural expectations with respect to death may be transformed by the legalization of assisted suicide. I suggest the inadequacy of the philosophical framework currently taken as the basis for discussing the advantages as well as the dangers of legalizing assisted suicide. I do not believe that individual autonomy is any sort of possibility for dying patients, regardless of the social policies that surround death in a society, insofar as our individual agency in this situation is necessarily intertwined with that of various relevant others. By means of a theory of agency relations, I attempt to show the dynamic ways in which we may all adjust to the option of assisted suicide as a preferred end-of-life option. My theory of agency relations does not deny individual choice; rather it explains the qualitative complexity of individual choice, as well as its dynamic social process of evolving.

"What is the tie between two instants that have between them the whole interval, the whole abyss, that separates the present and death, this margin at once both insignificant and infinite, where there is always room enough for hope?" (1)

"Is death possible? Can I die? Can I say 'I can' with respect to death? Can I?" (2)

I. Comprehending Death: The Limits of Philosophy

We philosophers are always trying to get a grip on death, and always failing. Anthropologists and social historians are likely to do better than philosophers in their efforts to characterize death, insofar as they can investigate the many faces of death in different cultural contexts: death in battle may be heroic; death in youth may be tragic; death in old age benign. In different times and different cultures death me...


... middle of paper ...


...pp.14-15. As anthropologists, the Kleinmans find shifts in the American cultural rhetoric of illness which correspond with Hochschild's findings as to the devaluation of traditional domestic duties of women. Our cultural rhetoric, the Kleinmans remark, "is changing from the language of caring to the language of efficiency and cost; it is not surprising to hear patients themselves use this rhetoric to describe their problems. Thereby, the illness experience, for some, may be transformed from a consequential moral experience into a merely technical inexpediency."

(14) See Robert Kastenbaum, "Suicide as the Preferred Way of Death," in Edwin S. Shneidman, ed., Suicidology: Contemporary Developments (New York: Grune & Stratton, 1976), pp.425-441, for a much earlier analysis predicting that our society would readily embrace suicide as a desirable way of dying.





Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Assisted Suicide and the Right to Die Essay - Assisted Suicide and the Right to Die       The basic dilemma surrounding the subject of assisted suicide is who has the right to choose when someone dies. There are many layers of questions and varying opinions surrounding this right. How can our own self-determination be considered morally wrong when taken in the context of the opinion of others. In a society that stresses individual freedoms why is it that Congress continues to hinder doctor-assisted suicide (Keminer, 2000, p. 8).       First some terms require clarification....   [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide]
:: 9 Works Cited
2296 words
(6.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Dilemma of Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Essays - The Dilemma of Euthanasia        Jack Kevorkian, serving a 10-to-25-year prison sentence for second-degree murder for giving a lethal injection to Thomas Youk, was honored as a humanitarian on April 10. Kevorkian received the Gleitsman Foundation's Citizen Activist Award in ceremonies at Harvard University. Foundation president Alan Gleitsman calls him "a selfless believer in death with dignity" who "sacrificed his medical license and now his own freedom toward that cause." With Kevorkian unable to attend, the award was accepted for him by one of those who nominated him -- his victim's wife, Melody Youk....   [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide]
:: 5 Works Cited
1235 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Problems with Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Essay examples - Euthanasia Problems     Doctors do err on cancer patients' survival times, so how can they say when the time is ripe for assisted suicide. A study in the July 1 issue of Cancer, the journal of the American Cancer Society, finds that doctors are often wrong in predicting how long terminally ill cancer patients will live. After studying the accuracy of doctors' predictions regarding 233 patients with end-of-life cancer, the researchers found most doctors had a tendency to overestimate survival time....   [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide]
:: 5 Works Cited
1256 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about The Popularity of Assisted Suicide? - Questionable Popularity of Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide      A survey of U.S. oncologists suggests that support for euthanasia and assisted suicide in this profession has declined dramatically in recent years. The survey polled 3299 members of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in 1998. It found 22.5% support for physician-assisted suicide for a terminally ill patient with prostate cancer in unremitting pain, compared to 45.5% support in 1994. Euthanasia in this situation was supported by 6.5%, compared to 22.7% in 1994....   [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide]
:: 4 Works Cited
1342 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Euthanasia Essay - Assisted Suicide - Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia      Remarkably, few have noticed that frail, elderly and terminally ill people oppose assisted suicide more than other Americans. The assisted-suicide agenda is moving forward chiefly with vocal support from the young, the able-bodied and the affluent, who may even think that their parents and grandparents share their enthusiasm. They are wrong.   Thus the assisted suicide agenda appears as a victory not for freedom, but for discrimination. At its heart lie demeaning attitudes and prejudices about the value of life with an illness or disability....   [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide]
:: 6 Works Cited
1576 words
(4.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about Assisted Suicide Around the US -    After the first year of legalized assisted suicide in Oregon, the following two stories resulted: The May-June issue of the journal The Hastings Center Report includes an extensive critique of the Oregon Health Division's report on the state's first year of legalized assisted suicide. Psychiatrist Herbert Hendin and pain control expert Kathleen Foley argue that the state's inadequate and misleading data provide no real support for its claim "that assisted suicide is being carried out safely" under the new Oregon law....   [tags: Euthanasia, Physician Assisted Suicide]
:: 5 Works Cited
1346 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Doctor-Assisted Suicide is Rare - A new survey published in the April 23 New England Journal of Medicine finds that few doctors have ever assisted a patient's suicide -- but that over a third would do so if the practice were legalized. "This is really not happening very often," says survey co-author Dr. Diane Meier of New York's Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "That's the most important finding. It's a rare event" [Associated Press, 4/23/98]. The survey was based on a questionnaire sent in 1996 to 3,102 physicians under the age of 65; 1,902 doctors responded anonymously....   [tags: Euthanasia, Physician Assisted Suicide] 625 words
(1.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Federal Assisted Suicide Law Essay - A debate has begun on the application of federal drug laws to assisted suicide -- a debate which may result in a new federal law to counter Oregon's experiment in doctor-assisted death. Last November the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) concluded that assisting a suicide is not a "legitimate medical purpose" for the use of federally regulated drugs, and that using such drugs to assist a suicide could cost a physician the federal DEA registration authorizing him or her to prescribe controlled substances....   [tags: Euthanasia, Physician Assisted Suicide] 610 words
(1.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Assisted Suicide Essay - Writing the fifth assignment for the English class was by far the hardest essay I have had to write. Constantly was I running into problems, and this ended up taking me much longer than I had originally planned. Writing about the opposing side of this topic was very hard, as I usually caught myself writing things that I couldn’t make work in my paper. The writing was very tough to keep on track because it isn’t actually how I feel. This essay helped me to better understand the argument that is presented from both sides....   [tags: Assisted Suicide Death Essays] 839 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Assisted Suicide Essay - Assisted Suicide I examine the ways in which our cultural expectations with respect to death may be transformed by the legalization of assisted suicide. I suggest the inadequacy of the philosophical framework currently taken as the basis for discussing the advantages as well as the dangers of legalizing assisted suicide. I do not believe that individual autonomy is any sort of possibility for dying patients, regardless of the social policies that surround death in a society, insofar as our individual agency in this situation is necessarily intertwined with that of various relevant others....   [tags: Euthanasia Physician Assisted Suicide]
:: 6 Works Cited
4614 words
(13.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]