In the recent past, the legalization of assisted suicide has been a significant topic that many people have considered to be highly controversial. In the United States, there has been considerable debate about whether terminally ill patients have the right to die with a physicianr’s assistance. Substantially, in assisted suicide, a physician facilitates the death of a patient through the provision of the necessary information and means to enable the terminally ill patient to perform an act that brings their life to an end.
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Assisted suicide is considered illegal in a majority of states in the US with Oregon, Montana, Vermont, California, Colorado, and Washington being the exceptions which allow patients who are going through intractable pain to be provided with a lethal prescription to terminate their life. Notably, assisted suicide has been gaining support in the US with a majority of Americans viewing assisted suicide as an appropriate legal option for terminally ill patients. In contrast, opponents of the practice consider it as inhumane, and a form of murder and hence should remain illegal. However, although many people are quick to acknowledge the issues associated with physician-assisted suicide, most fail to realize the numerous benefits that come with its legalization.
To begin with, assisted suicide serves as a means to bringing the pain and suffering of terminally ill patients to an end. As maintained by Emanuel, the unbearable pain that terminally patients undergo is among the primary reasons for the legalization of assisted suicide (630). Undeniably, today, medical technology has made significant strides towards extending the lives of humans. For instance, respirators can be used to support the failing lungs of a patient while the use of medicines can sustain the patient’s physiological processes. However, although patients with high chances of surviving view such medical technology as an invaluable gift to humankind, for terminally ill patients, the technology is just a means of lengthening their suffering. Admittedly, medicine should always help alleviate a patientr’s pain. On the contrary, as argued by Crocker, what medical technology does is to expose a dying patient to more suffering as a result of the continuous pain and agony (12). In the past, there are cases in which terminally ill patients have asked for lethal drugs as an ultimate medication that would bring their pain to an end. For example, an English woman by the name Lillian Boyes, who had rheumatoid arthritis a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting more than a patientr’s joints,
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