The Personal Matter of Death

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The Personal Matter of Death

The "right to die" argument is building moral, ethical and legal issues. The proponents for physician aid in dying are arguing from the perspective of compassion and radical individual autonomy. However, we cannot take the life of another human being in our hands and play the role of God. The case against physician-assisted suicide, which is essentially a moral case ("thou shall not kill; thou shall not help others to kill themselves"), is straightforward and clear.

Proponents of physician-assisted suicide clearly want to relieve suffering, and show mercy. What could be wrong with that? What is wrong is that accomplishing this good entails violating not only the fourth commandment, "You shall not kill", but also the first commandment, "You shall have no other gods." For in assisting in a suicide we are indeed assuming the role of God, taking life and death in our hands, forgetting that we are the creatures and that God is God. A person does not own his life, for he did not create it. We are the creatures of God and we must respect and secure the gift that He gave us, the gift of life.

Most people agree that to cause one's death directly is objectively wrong. They also recognize that people who commit suicide are usually not fully responsible because depression or intractable pain has overwhelmed them. Most of them also agree that physician-assisted suicide must be stopped. In a survey conducted at the University of Arizona in March 1999, 85% of 500 students supported that by legalizing physician-assisted deaths, society runs the risk of sliding into a practice of both true involuntary euthanasia and exerting subtle pressures on vulnerable and disenfranchised patients to opt for an a...

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...r so many, so will PAS grow into a widely used procedure. The assisted-suicide controversy will determine the kind of society we live in, and the one we will leave to our children. We must stop this movement before it is too late for our sake and for our children's sake…



"Dr. Kevorkian's side scores." America April 1996. Vol. 174.

Gabrielle Saveri. "An ethicist insists patients need help living, not dying." People May 1995. Vol. 43

"Lies we've heard before; the same flawed arguments that legalized abortion are now used to support physician-assisted suicide." Christianity Today July 1998. Vol. 42.

Robert Marquand. "Revolt against 'right-to-die' movement." Christian Science Monitor August 1996. Vol. 88. Issue 176.

Survey conducted at the U of A. March 1999.
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