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The Right to Physician Assisted Suicide

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Assisted suicide, by definition, is suicide facilitated by another person, especially a physician, in order to end the life of a patient suffering from an incurable or life-threatening illness. Ever since its first use in the 1970s, physician assisted suicide has been a topic of much controversy in the modern world. Issues surrounding the life or death of a person come with many sensitive areas of concern, including financial, legal, ethical, spiritual, and medical matters. Today, physician assisted suicide has only been legalized in two states while many other states have been fighting to pass or amend the Death with Dignity Act. But while some may say that physician assisted suicide is immoral and impractical because it deserts the hope for further healing, patients who are at death’s door should have the right to die with dignity with the aid of a practicing physician as an alternative to continually living with the burden of a terminal illness.

Allowing physician assisted suicide to be an option for terminally ill patients alleviates the suffering that they may have to endure. How can the government make a decision to keep aching patients from alleviating their pain? The incident of Matthew Donnelly illustrates the perfect case of a patient whose suffering had gone on too long:

Matthew’s job of working with x-ray research had left him with skin cancer that slowly deteriorated his entire body. With an estimate of only a year left to live, Matthew Donnelly laid in bed in excruciating pain for days. When Matthew’s older brother Harold could no longer resist Matthew’s cries for help, he took Matthew’s .30 caliber pistol out of his drawer and shot and killed his brother. (Andre)

In today’s age, with technological advan...

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