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Legality of Suicide and Assisted Suicide

analytical Essay
2165 words
2165 words
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Suicide has become a big part of American society, year after year more people are taking their own lives for many different reasons. A lot of philosophers have broken down all the reasons of suicides into two different categories, rational suicide and irrational suicide. A rational suicide has been given five basic criteria that usually must be met for the person's act to be considered rational. The five criteria which a person

must show for their suicide to be considered rational are, "the ability to reason, realistic world view, adequacy of information, avoidance of harm, and accordance with fundamental interests."(Battin 132) Another opinion of rationality of suicide is, "it is the best thing for him from the point of view of his own welfare-or whether it is the best thing for someone being advised, from the point of view of that person's welfare"(Brandt 118). People have to characterize suicides because a lot of times they don't understand what that person is going through so by grouping them and placing criteria on them it allows them to accept it in an easier manner.

A lot of suicides are grouped in the rational category because they are committed so the person can be saved from the pain they may be experiencing from a terminal disease. This seems to be just about the only true rational and morally correct reason why a person should commit suicide. Yet a lot of times these patients are "heavily sedated, so that it is impossible for the mental processes of decision leading to action to occur."(Brandt 123) In other words these patients have a rational reason to commit suicide, yet their mind is not capable of making that decision.

So if terminally ill patients are the only ones who have a good rational reason to commit suicide, then where does that leave everyone else? Well just about everyone else commits suicide because of a little thing that enters everyone's life at some time and that thing is called depression. Depression can come from several different things, such as a

loss of something like a job, a loved one, a limb such as an arm or leg, or anything else that might be held dear to that person. Other things could be rejection at home or in the work place, abuse, and sometimes even the thought of getting old and not wanting to know what tomorrow holds in store.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that suicide has become a big part of american society. philosophers have broken down the reasons of suicide into two different categories, rational suicide and irrational suicide.
  • Explains that people must show for their suicide to be considered rational are, "the ability to reason, realistic world view, adequacy of information, avoidance of harm, and accordance with fundamental interests."
  • Explains that many suicides are grouped in the rational category because they are committed so the person can be saved from the pain they may be experiencing from a terminal disease.
  • Explains that terminally ill patients are the only ones who have a good rational reason to commit suicide. everyone else commits suicide because of depression.
  • Explains that loss of a job, loved one, limb, or anything else that might be held dear to that person, rejection at home or in the work place, abuse, and sometimes even the thought of getting old.
  • Explains that dr. jack kervorkian was the first to mention assisted suicide. the hemlock society was founded by derek humphry in los angeles in 1980.
  • Opines that dr. kervorkian is probably the most famous man in america when it comes to assisted suicide. his cases and his defiance of the law have kept him the spotlight in the american media.
  • Explains assisted suicide, where terminally ill patients ask a physician or family member to help end their life. there are various ways to assist someone in suicide.
  • Argues that the constitution does not give us that right simply because of thomas jefferson's famous words "that all men are endowed with certain unalienable
  • Analyzes how feinberg makes a good argument, by saying that it would infringe on our right to live that the founding fathers said was ours and that there was no one who could take that right away from us.
  • Explains derivative claims against others that they save or not kill one are beneficial-goods that one could not rationally forswear. the right must always be exercised and can never be waived.
  • Argues that the constitution protects the right of self-determination in many significant matters of personal choice. the supreme court cannot be said to have taken a stand on the issue of suicide.
  • Explains sullivan's view that the constitution has given us the right to self-determination over matters in our life. the first amendment alone gives us freedom to determine what religion we want to believe in.
  • Analyzes how put a stipulation on the right to suicide and that is what he said about showing signs of competency. he just wants to make sure that the person who is about to take his own life is of sound mind.
  • Explains that the law can't do anything to someone who has killed themselves. family members and friends have been prosecuted for aiding or assisting in a suicide.
  • States that the michigan supreme court affirmed robert's conviction of murder, reasoning that he intended his wife to be able to take her life as she wished, and that she would have been unable to do so without his aid.
  • Explains that the law has been determined by the states, and the supreme court has not interfered yet. twenty-five states have no separate statutory treatment of assisting suicide.
  • Explains that states like michigan have argued that assisting suicide is murder. the third approach is to treat it as a separate statutory offense altogether.
  • Explains that a person can be convicted of criminal homicide for causing another to commit suicide only if he purposely causes such suicide by force, duress of deception, or aiding or soliciting suicide as an independent offence.
  • Opines that states have adopted their own policy on assisted suicide, but states are lenient on families turning off life support systems.
  • Opines that suicide is a touchy situation to most people. there are arguments for both but it comes down to your beliefs not only in the law but also in your morals.
  • Analyzes how rauscher sums up paul's letter by stating that 'to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account' because it is the key to jesus' teaching about both life and death.
  • Opines that suicide isn't the way out of everything. there are still cases in the court battling to legalize assisted suicide.
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