Should Assisted Suicide Be Legalized?
Before answering the question, “Why would anyone in the right mind terminate their life?” we should think over another one: What do we live for? What is the point of life? Many philosophers, scientists, and writers have been trying for hundreds of years to find the right answer. But let’s be honest. For most people, the sense of life is the same: to be happy.
Happiness is a very special concept, and every individual understands it in his or her unique way. However, we may try to indicate the most common elements of happiness, right? They are mutual love, good health, family, interesting and well-paid work, and so on. No regular person would include “a life free of pain” in this list. We don’t think about it until we face it.
According to the official statistic, more than 1,500 Americans per day die of cancer. No doubt that there are curable cancer types, and not every single cancer patient is doomed to death. But the fact is that a great number of people don’t make it through. They’ll have to face death soon or later. Assisted suicide gives them the chance to meet the Grim Reaper with dignity and with their eyes open.
In the USA, physician-assisted suicide is legal in seven states (Montana, Colorado, California, Vermont, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington) and in the District of Columbia. Dying people who are the citizens of other states have to travel in order to have the opportunity to die with medical supervision. Unfortunately, many of them aren’t able to pay for the transportation or are too weak for their last journey. It is unfortunate to have to suffer from unbearable pain and face an undignified and horrible death.
What about people who are not terminally ill? What about paralyzed patients who have no opportunity to participate in activities that make life enjoyable? Let’s go back to the question about happiness. What if the person has lost the chance for happiness because of a severe trauma or a serious disease?
Imagine a 20-year-old man who is not able to move any part of his body but a few fingers, and suffers from constant pain. Not only will he never start a family, kiss a beautiful woman, or run the marathon, he will never have even the smallest chance to try. He can’t ignore his pain or disability. He only has two options: to suffer until the day he’ll die, being a burden for his family, or to take control over his life one last time.
There are no important choices that are easy to make, especially when it comes to the matter of life and death. Thus, every person has a right to free himself from the meaningless and weary existence full of physical and emotional suffering. We all hope that this kind of dilemma will never come into our lives. But what if it did? Would you prefer to have the opportunity to make this choice?