An essay on Assisted Suicide

Essay by Mehmood August 2007

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It is uncommon today to hear people campaign for or against assisted suicide on televisions and in streets. Those supporting this act argue that a person, who is terminally ill and in severe pain, may decide that death is a better option. They also propose that these people have their freedom of choice and should be left to determine their destiny and therefore it is important that the society respects their wish.

Assisted suicide can be defined as the fight for the right to die. Patients are administered drugs by their physicians to end their own lives. Assisted suicide is related to Euthanasia which comes from the Geek language; eu which means ‘good’ and thanatos which means ‘death’. It is the termination of person’s life with request from the person who wishes to commit suicide.

Euthanasia can be classified as under passive, active, physician assisted suicide and the involuntary euthanasia.

Active euthanasia can be described as causing death to a person by use of direct actions as requested by them. Physician assisted suicide on the other hand refers to the practice of supplying information to the patient from the physician. For instance, a physician may offer an overdose prescription to patients. The killing of a person without their consent refers to involuntary euthanasia. This is commonly done to patients in a vegetative state whose recovery is not possible (Robert, 1997).

Assisted Suicide has sparked debates all over the world and no conclusion has been made; especially physicians have been faced with one challenges of whether euthanasia is a virtue or a vice. The practice is often committed though not widely. Euthanasia traces its origin back in the ancient history. Hippocrates mentioned it in their Hippocratic Oath written between 300 and 400 B.C. The oath states that ‘To please no one...