For or against Assisted Suicide
by davefavreau on September 12, 2016 - 10:02pm
For or against Assisted Suicide
In the article “NY state to consider assisted suicide law,” written by Peter Feuerherd in may 2016, the author brings on the board the possibility that New-York State could legalize assisted suicide. The article supports that already at some places in the United-States it is legal to commit physician-assisted suicide. Oregon and Washington are the two American states that already practice aid in dying and California is soon to be part of that list. In 2014, a 29 years old Californian woman crossed the frontier between California and Oregon to get suicide assistance. Her story that featured on CBS’ “60 minutes” rehanged the debate and influenced up to 25 States to deposit a law project on assisted suicide.
To add on, this article clearly brings arguments from both side of the debate. It makes it hard to understand on which side the author really is as there is no clear statement about it. I still think that Feuerherd is on the anti side as he gives way more information about the cons. Logically, most of the arguments that matches this sensible moral debate are about ethical values. The question that people try to ask is pretty heavy. Is it acceptable to legally let someone die, or we should promote the right of life? On the anti side, Feuerherd brings to us the intervention of Hanson. “Doctors make mistakes. They are not always correct.” (1) This intervention means that doctors can’t always put the good judgement on whether a patient is legible or not to get suicide assistance. It also suggests that assisted would mostly target vulnerable persons and that it would “impede efforts to cure rare diseases.” (Hanson,1) For me, these arguments are reflecting the ethical values of equality of condition and the right of life. On the other side of the argument, the pros suggest that the patient would be in terminal phase (6 months or less) and so this patient’s pain would be released once forever. Also, patients requesting aid to death would have to be tested in order to see if they are mentally stable to take this decision and they would need two witnesses for the request.
For my personal opinion, I always thought that I was in favor of assisted suicide, but I think reading more about this subject made me change my mind. Reading the cons really made me think of the equality of condition and opportunity. Some people are having harder moments in life than other and assisted suicide would be an easy option for them to get rid of all their problems. As a society, it is important to give equality to everyone and help each other when someone needs help. In this case, it would be easy for anyone to use ethical egoism, but saying “I don’t care, this person does whatever she wants with her life” is not a way to resolve the problem. Religion and culture is also an important issue in the debate. People from different cultures don’t share the same vision about the idea of assisted suicide. Moral relativism supports that, for example, there are more people in occident that are ready to accept aid to death than in another country where religion is way more present. There is so many different perceptions of the issue that I don’t think it would be a good think to legalise it.
In conclusion, assisted suicide is an ethical issue that will hardly be accepted by everyone in a near future. Equality, ethical egoism and moral relativism are values and concepts that makes self interpretations of the issue different for everyone. Is the debate on the legalisation of assisted suicide a sign that our society is getting more ethical than it was before?
Feuerherd, Peter. "NY State to Consider Assisted Suicide Law." National Catholic Reporter. Champlain College Library, 6-19 May 2016. Web. 11 Sept. 2016.