Assisted suicide refers to the act of helping another individual to terminate his or her own life. It includes availing tools to another individual which that particular individual would use to prematurely end his or her own life. An individual may also directly assist another to end their life by killing that person upon request by that particular individual (Forman & Schumann, 2008; Humphry & Wickett, 1986).
Assisted suicide may be legal or illegal depending on a society’s culture or a given legal jurisdiction. There are societies which advocate for assisted suicide to terminally ill individuals if they ask to be assisted. In such cultures, these societies believe that every individual has a right to over their life and if an individual requests that he or she be assisted to end his or her life if that individual’s life is physically unbearable then that right should be granted. For instance, if an individual is suffering from a terminal illness in which that individual is experiencing excruciating pain, then it would only be sensible enough to end such an individual’s misery if he or she asks for it (Paterson, 2008). Assisted suicide is legal in Luxembourg, Switzerland, Belgium and some American states such as Washington and Oregon.
Opponents of assisted suicide claim that it is the role of every human being to protect and respect life. Laws threatening the lives of individual persons should be discouraged at all costs. They claim that there are those individuals who might be forced to ask for voluntary death by their care takers just to relieve them off a burden. Some individuals like infants lives may be terminated prematurely since they are not in a position to speak for their own selves (Friedman, 2012). It is therefore inhumane to pass a legislation that allows an opportunity for human beings to end the lives of others. Individuals’ lives should and must be protected at their all costs.
Forman, L & Schumann, H. J. (2008). Assisted Suicide. Minnesota: ABDO publishers.
Friedman, M. (2012). Assisted Suicide. Mark D. Friedman. London: Raintree.
Humphry, D & Wickett, A. (1986). The right to die: understanding euthanasia. London: Bodley
Paterson, C. (2008). Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: A Natural law Ethics Approach. London: