One thing argued plenty about in today’s world is euthanasia, also known as assisted suicide. To give a brief definition, assisted suicide is the act of a person (typically a doctor) helping another person to die. The act itself is completely consensual between both adults.
I feel very strongly about people being able to have the right the die. I’ve watched people with cancer deteriorate, one of which being my maternal grandmother. I’ll go ahead and say that I only saw her a handful of times; I can count those times on one hand. I remember her being in the process of Chemotherapy when my mother and I went to visit. Her leg had been amputated first at the knee and then a second time at the hip. I didn’t know her very well, but when she died, I can tell you that any dignity that she had had was gone.
I didn’t know her well enough to say that she would have gone through with assisted suicide, but there are people who wanted to and have gone through with it.
On November 1, 2014, a young woman by the name of Brittany Maynard ended her life. She was diagnosed with a stage four malignant tumor. She posted a video, which has gotten well over 9.5 million views, about how she wanted to die, “I plan to be surrounded by my immediate family. I will die upstairs in my bedroom that I share with my husband (…) and pass peacefully with some music I like in the background.”
She wanted to die with dignity. She and her family had to move from their home in California to Oregon. Only four states currently have a law that allows terminally ill patients to seek help for assisted suicide: Oregon, Montana, Washington, and New Mexico. Oregon has something called Death With Dignity Act.
It appalls me that only four states have a law to help people die. According to Christian beliefs, suicide is not allowed. This is America. We have a separation of church and state (at least we’re supposed to). If I had a disease such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), any sort of cancer, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and various other debilitating diseases that cause pain and I would eventually die of, I would move from my home state of Indiana to one of the four that allow assisted suicide.
I understand that people are very anti-death and to cherish life because it’s the only one that you get; however, that is not a life — that is torture.
Several people do not like assisted suicide because it gives doctors an easy way to kill their patients. Fact of the matter is, each person has a choice. That’s what life is. Choices. Do patients have a choice to take the medicine that will kill them? Yes. Will people find another way to commit suicide if a doctor refuses to prescribe them medicines? Yes. It’s not too hard to find ways to commit suicide in a non-painful way.
In the four states that do allow assisted suicide, it’s very well regulated. You have to do several things. In order to even place a request for a prescription of lethal medication (for Oregon): he/she has to be an adult, a resident, able to make and communicate health care decisions, and be diagnosed with a terminal illness that will lead to death in six months.
After meeting those requirements, in order to get a request for a lethal prescription, more requirements must be taken care of: two oral request to physician separated by at least fifteen days, a written request to physician signed in the presence of two witnesses, and the prescribing physician and consulting physician must determine if the patient is capable in deciding his/her fate. If the consulting physician and the prescribing physician decide that for some reason he/she could have a psychiatric condition, they then can send him/her for a psychological examination. After he/she has done all that and have gotten the prescription, the prescribing physician must then report it to the Department of Human Services.
Personally, I feel like more states should follow suit with what Montana, Oregon, New Mexico and Washington have begun. I’m not romanticizing death, but I feel like if your other option is suffering, then assisted suicide is a gentle way to go.