Argumentative Essay On Assisted Dying

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To be or not to be is not the question, but rather you must first assume that you soon won’t be and go from there; Should a terminally ill person request assisted dying in dignity with little pain, or die naturally? Should this be a choice they are allowed to make? Should terminally ill people be able to ask this question and have their wishes be fulfilled whichever way they answer? Assisted dying is full of nuances; disagreements and differences on the subject range from finding an accepted name for it (assisted dying, physician assisted suicide, euthanasia, death with dignity, etc.) to the method and implementation of a patient’s end-of-life (differences in drugs and procedure). It is not a surprise that the arguments for and against it are…show more content…
Whether or not it is acceptable for a terminally ill patient to end their life with physician assistance is widely debated on moral and ethical grounds. Assisted dying is in some way legal in Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, Columbia, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Albania, Canada, and in the U.S. states of Washington, Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico, Montana, and California. The first euthanasia law, though unsuccessful, was drafted in 1906. The first legalization under certain circumstances came in 1983. Assisted dying comes with legal, ethical, medical, moral, and religious contention. Opponents may believe in the preservation of life for as long as possible. They may believe that ending one’s life purposefully is against medical practice. They may also find the practice morally abhorrent, for personal or religious reasons. Some opponents simply cite that suicide is illegal and assisted dying is akin to suicide, and stepping too close to the edge of the law. Proponents of the right to assisted dying believe, often for moral reasons, that it is a viable option and should be legal and open to those who want it. They argue that a terminally ill person’s decision to end their life while they still maintain the quality of life and dignity they desire is a fundamental right every person should be afforded should they become terminally ill, and…show more content…
Many opponents claim it to be medically wrong and backwards. In places where assisted dying is legal, physicians have a choice of whether or not to partake in the programs and supply life-ending medication. Some physicians refuse to, such as Dr. Kenneth Stevens, an opponent of assisted dying. He speaks of his reasons for his stance as a physician in relation to a patient with cancer requesting physician assisted dying, saying “I didn’t go into medicine to kill people. When a doctor writes a prescription, a prescription is a written order. If he’s writing a prescription for lethal drugs, he’s writing a prescription to kill the person.” (Stevens, ref. Daily Signal, 2) This is a concern that many physicians and opponents share. Some cite the hippocratic oath, a traditional code used by doctors, which includes this passage in it’s updated modern version: “Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.” (Hippocratic oath, Ref. Tyson, 1) While this may seem fairly explicit, as supporters of physician assisted dying point out, the hippocratic oath does not hold as much importance medically today, nor do all of the versions prohibit assisted
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