|A Pace Odyssey
My dad recently announced to the family that he wanted to put down our pet poodle of 14 years. He argued that Wheatley was old, in pain, and didn't deserve to live like that. As I considered his proposition I kept thinking that if Wheatley was still living, she could keep living a little longer. My dad then asked me, "Sabrina, if you were blind, deaf, half lame, and always crying, would you want to keep living?" He exaggerated my dog's infirmities, but it made me think. Many people believe that although suicide is legal, assisted suicide is a crime and should not be legal, but could it be more humane? I was later presented with a story in which a man in excruciating pain who had been begging to be taken off what was keeping him alive. After his pleas were ignored and his cries became unbearable, his brother took a gun to the hospital and killed him out of mercy. He was charged with murder.
With the improved technology and medicine we have right now, it is very common to put a loved one on life support or put off their death. Sometimes these people don't want to be kept in that painful state but their wishes are not seen as sane or respectable. As more and more people speak out about how cruel it is to keep someone in a suffering state, more areas are legalizing the practice. In January of 2020, Maine will become the 8th state to legalize assisted suicide. Many of the people that pushed for this bill to pass had to watch a friend endure months or even years of physical or mental agony while begging to have that freedom. Physician-Assisted Suicide is usually allowed if the patient is sane, repetitive in their request, and take the drugs themselves.
Contrarily, some believe that legalizing assisted suicide removes the ability to get mentally unstable patients the help that they need. Suicide is often a plea for help or a test for those around them. Around 94% of those that commit suicide are not mentally sound and have not made the decision rationally. These mindsets and disorders can be treated. Pain can be alleviated. They would argue that it isn't all or nothing, you don't need to get rid of yourself to get rid of your problems. Besides, those who survive suicide attempts rarely attempt again.
Should assisted suicide be legal in the United States? Will creating a legal way to choose death make people think harder and more rationally about their decision? If you had a loved one that wanted to die, would you let them? Who should be able to choose assisted suicide? Do we have a right to life as well as death?