The Pros And Cons Of Physician-Assisted Suicide

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Imagine having a disease that you know will kill you within a certain amount of time. If you had the option to safely end your life, would you? Would you continue to fight your battle and savor the short and painful time you have left, or would you choose to lose your battle? Both of these options have pros and cons, and reasons, why people think physician-assisted suicide, is ethical or unethical. This article will discuss both views of physician-assisted suicide.

The Pros of Physician-Assisted Suicide

Physician-assisted suicide is legal in the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. Physician-assisted suicide can improve the quality of life. According to many patients who have wanted this procedure, they conclude that assisted suicide gives them ease and allows them to choose when they were going to pass, not their disease. Steve Hallock says, “A lot of what has been going on has been an indictment of our ability to give people the kind of care they need at the time of death.” Many think it’s wrong to cut someone’s life short, but many people who face terminal diseases feel that they are already dead from their disease draining their energy and happiness. Also, a big concern regarding PAS is that anyone can get this done, however, this is not the case. There is a list of requirements and paperwork that goes into this, and one of those requirements is having an illness that will take your life in a certain amount of time. Another positive to this is that you don’t have to continue treatments such as surgeries, procedures, and other expensive, ‘pointless,’ and painful treatments. Another pro factor is that if someone really wants this as the end of their life, it is a safe way that is monitored, researched, studied, and not involving the public. This way of suicide is much safer than someone doing it themselves at home or in public. Lastly, PAS is considered by many to be a right that all citizens should be allowed to have.

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The Cons of Physician-Assisted Suicide

There is a reason that PAS is legalized in only 5 states in the United States, but it that even too much? Should it be illegal in all 50 states of America? According to many, Physician-Assisted Suicide is unethical and goes against many beliefs. One of the many questions that PAS contradicters ask PAS supporters is if a doctor/physician’s job is to save lives, then why are they sending them? This is a good question because it truly does explain how people can not agree with physician-assisted suicide, and how they view it as unethical. Smith writes, “Assisted suicide is neither necessary nor desirable when hospice services are initiated. Maintaining hope, independence, and comfort is a far better choice than suicide or agonizing death.” Many people agree with this. Many people that disagree with PAS think that life needs to be lived out to the fullest, and not cut short. Another negative outcome of physician-assisted suicide is that it can lead to patient abuse, and there can be many depressed people who chose this option, and ‘abuse’ their rights to kill themselves. Another con would have to do with the idea of cultural death. According to most cultures, death should be natural and come at its own time. Suicide of any kind would be considered unethical to most cultures. That is why it is frowned upon by many.


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