The support for legalizing physician-assisted suicide consists of two individual, but similar arguments. The argument of suffering and autonomy.
Now with the backing of suffering, it states that it is immoral to force a life support patient in the process of death, whose pain cannot be relieved with medication to stay alive. It is undeniable that many patients die in terrible pain. The well-known support study showed that 50% of conscious patients who died in the hospital experienced moderate to severe pain in the last three days of life. Dying is bad enough why should a person die in pain? We do not allow dying animals to suffer. We put them out of their misery. Why do the same for people?
In one of the very few states in the U.S.A, the state called “Oregon” restricts Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) to competent individuals who have requested it. Yet as many have noted, if the jurisdiction for PAS is suffering, why restrict it to competent individuals? Suffering is not limited to people who are competent to request for death: infants people with developed disabilities and the elderly senile can also experience agonizing and irremediable pain. Nor does the argument from suffering apply only to patients who are terminally ill. Indeed, if it is cruel to force someone to go living who will die shortly anyway, it would seem to be even crueler to force someone to endure suffering for a longer period.
Although suffering is a prominent justification for Physician-Assisted Suicide, it is not only or even primarily physical pain that leads to patients request it. According to the Fifth Annual Report on Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act. “…patients request for lethal medications stirred from multiple concerns related Autonomy and control at the end of life. The three most commonly end of life concerns during 2002 were loss autonomy, a decreasing ability to participate in activities that made life enjoyable, and losing control of bodily functions.”
Furthermore, the strongest argument for the legalization of Physician-Assisted Suicide is Autonomy. The view that autonomy related concerns were more prominent than fears of pain among other Oregonians requesting PAS was confirmed by a study of published “Journal of Palliative Medicine” in June 2003.” Being in control and not depending on anybody is the most important thing for them in their dying days,” said Dr. Linda Ganzini, a psychiatrist at Oregon Health & Science University who led the study. This was exemplified by one patient quoted by her doctor saying. “I want to do on my terms. I want to choose and place and time. I want my friends to be there and don’t want to linger and dwindle and rot in front of myself”.
If sufferings not the basis for most people’s request, then we must ask, doe this argument from autonomy justify PAS? This depends on how one understands autonomy. Autonomy is sometimes conceived as a general right to make one’s decisions and choices, so long as one is not harming or violating to the right of others. (This classic statement of this right given by John Stuart Mill in on Liberty). Conceived this Broadway, it could include any number of rights, including viewing pornography, abusing drugs, multiple spouses, and so on. But I do think that the Autonomy based argument for Physician-Assisted Suicide is conceived merely as a function of the broader light to live as one pleases, within harm principle contains. Rather, the principle underlying the argument from autonomy is that every component person that has the right to make momentous personal decisions which invoke fundamental religious or philosophical convictions about life’s value for himself”. Death is the most significant events in a person’s life, “the final act of life’s drama” which should reflect our own convictions, those we have tried to live by, not the convictions of others forced on us in our most vulnerable moment.
However, if autonomy is the basis for a legalization of PAS WHY SHOULD THIS right be limited to those who have a terminal illness. You cannot force someone to continue living under conditions he or she finds unbearable and that can also be a contradiction of his life and an odious, form of tyranny. This point was made by an American judge “The depressed twenty-one-year-old, the romantically devastated twenty-eight-year-old, and the alcoholic forty-year-old who chose suicide are also expressing their views on existence, meaning the universe, and life, the right to suicide and the right to assistance in suicide are the prerogative of at least every sane adult. The attempts to restrict such rights to the terminally ill is “illusory”.
Under the banners of compassion and autonomy, some are calling the legal recognition of a “right to suicide” and social acceptance of physician-assisted suicide. Suicide proponents evoke the mage of someone facing unendurable suffering who calm and rationally decides that death is better than life in such a state. Moreover, the argument for prohibition of PAS, argue that society should respect and defer to the freedom of choice such people exercise in asking to be killed. However, the consequences of accepting this perspective need to be carefully examined.
Accepting a “right to suicide” would create a legal presumption of sanity, preventing appropriate mental health treatment.
If PHYSICIAN assisted death to become legal rights, the presumptions that people attempting suicide are deranged and in need of psychological help, borne out of many studies and years of experience, would be reversed. Those seeking suicide would be legally entitled to be left alone to do something irremediable, based on a distorted assessment of their circumstances without genuine help
An attempt at suicide some psychologists say, it is often a challenge to see if anyone really cares about the person seeking help. Indeed, seeking physician-assisted suicide, rather than just killing oneself, may well be a manifestation, however subconscious, of precisely that challenge. If society creates a “right to suicide” and on top legalizes physician-assisted suicide,” the message perceived by a person committing suicide is not likely to be “we respect your wishes” “but rather, “We don’t care if you live or die, your life does not matter. Almost all who commit suicide have some mental problems.
Few people, if any simply make a cool, rational decision to commit suicide. In fact, studies have indicated that 93 to 94 % of those committing suicide suffer from one identifiable mental disorder. In another study of suicide in St. Louis Missouri, U.S.A., Dr. Eli Robbins found that 47% of those committing suicide were diagnosed with either schizophrenic panic disorders or affective disorders such as depression, dysthymic order, or bipolar disorder. An additional 25% suffered from alcoholism while another 15% had some recognizable but undiagnosed psychiatric disorder. 4% were found to have organic brain syndrome, 2% were schizophrenic, and 1% were drug addicts. The total of those with diagnosable mental disorders was 94%. An independent British studied yielded a remarkably similar total figure, finding that 93% of those who commit suicide suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder.
Suicide is often desperate plea by individuals who consider their problems intractable and hopeless. Experts in psychology recognize that these individuals make flawed evaluations of their personal situations.
The suicidal person suffering from depression typically undergoes severe emotional and physical strain. Such physical and emotional exhaustion impairs basic cognition, creates unwarranted self-blame, and generally lowers overall self-esteem, all of which foster distorted judgments. These effects also feed the sense of hopelessness that is the primary trigger of most suicidal behavior
Studies have shown that during the period of their obsession with the idea of killing themselves, suicidal individuals tend to think in a very rigid dichotomous way, seeing everything in all for nothing terms they are unable to conceptualize or even acknowledge any range of genuine alternatives. Many are locked into automatic thoughts and responses rather than accurately understanding and responding to their environment. People who commit suicide also tend to exaggerate their problems minimize their achievements, and generally ignore the larger context of the situations. They sometimes have in ordinarily unrealistic expectations of themselves. During the period of their disorders, these individuals usually view life as overly traumatic and view temporary minor setbacks as major permanent ones.
Most of those attempting suicide are ambivalent, often the attempt is a cry for help. Studies and descriptions of suicide attempts whose attempts were thwarted by outside intervention (or In some cases, because the means used in the attempt did not take complete effect) Demonstrate that most suicidal have neither an unequivocal nor an irreversible determination to die. For example, one study conducted by two psychiatrists in Seattle, Washington, USA found that 75% of the 96 suicide attempts studies were quite ambivalent about their intention to die. They are not actually driven to die, but rather to accomplish something b the attempt. Suicide is their means, not their end.
Furthermore, one of the issues brought up in the debate over physician-assisted suicide is the slippery slope argument. If physician-assisted suicide is made legal, then other issues will follow, with the end being the legalizing of PAS for anyone for any reason and for no reason. The experienced of other countries display that this not theatrical. The Netherlands is a great example of the slippery slope on which legalizing Physician-Assisted Suicide Death puts us. In the 1980’s the Dutch government stopped prosecuting physicians who committed voluntary euthanasia on their patients (Jackson2013,931-932; Patel and Rushefsky 2015,32-33). By 1990, s more than 50% of acts of euthanasia were no longer voluntary. This according to the 1991 Remmelink Report, a study on euthanasia requested by the Dutch government and conducted by the Dutch.