Mercy or Murder? a Look at Physican-Assisted Suicide Essay

2470 WordsOct 22, 201310 Pages
Mercy or Murder? A Look at Physican-Assisted Suicide Munique L. Robinson PHI 103: Informal Logic DeRhonda McWaine June 17, 2013 Mercy or Murder? A Look at Physican-Assisted Suicide There is a general understanding to the concept of free will. Many believe that because people have the right to choose how they want to live, they should also choose how they will die. Others believe that suicide is not a right because it means taking a life, even if it is your own. Some countries have made suicide illegal, but what about terminally ill patients who are suffering? Some nations practice “mercy killings”, and some have made abortions legal. Of course, both of those are surrounded and guarded by specific sets of rules and circumstances. So the question is then, if someone is suffering and going to die anyway, should it be legal to help them end the pain? Physician-assisted suicide is a major debate topic for a number of reasons; one of the most prevalent is that it could be considered a form of murder. Yet, many insist that it is actually a form of mercy, simply speeding up the process of ending a life that is no longer really there, anyway. If freedom of choice allows people to decide how to live, then it should also legally permit people the right to determine how and when to die. First, to determine whether or not physician-assisted should be legal, it is important to clarify the difference between physician-assisted suicide (PAS), euthanasia, and termination of life support. “In physician assisted suicide, the physician provides the patient with the means to end his or her own life” (Frileux, Lelievre, Munoz Sastre, Mullet, & Sorum, 2003, para 8). “In euthanasia, the physician deliberately and directly intervenes to end the patient's life; this is sometimes called "active euthanasia" to distinguish it from withholding or withdrawing treatment

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