Should peoplpe have the right to die in dignity?

by audreyhogue on February 4, 2014 - 2:13pm

Since 1993, many different societies have attempted to reintroduce assisted suicide into our consciousness .In June 2012, The Supreme Court of Canada finally agrees to hear an appeal that briefly overturned the ban on assisted suicide( Dyck,1).The Supreme Court has agreed to review the country’s assisted suicide laws more than two decades after it rejected doctor-assisted dying for people who are terminally ill in 1993( Dyck,1).Gloria Taylor, a woman suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease was requesting permission for a doctor to end her life before she became incapacitated (Dyck,2).Taylor won the right to obtain assistance to end her life. The Court of Appeal recently overturned that decision, stating the issue had been resolved in the 1993 that upheld the law which explain that a person can’t take away a life no matter the circumstances (Dyck, 2).In doing so, it is considered a murder. In this case, the lower court didn’t’ have the ability to overturn the decision (Dyck, 2). Unfortunately, Gloria Taylor died of a severe infection before using her exemption (Dyck, 2).Other families are persevering for elderly people to gain the right to decide how much suffering to endure at the end of life and whether to seek a doctor’s assistance to accelerate the process. The article written by the Canadian Press raises an important debate which represents an ethical issue for our society. Nowadays, people are constantly asking the right to die in dignity. As a society, we should take position regarding this issue. Should we legalize assisted suicide for people who are terminally ill?

The Supreme Court won’t be the only place where arguments for and against assisted suicide will be heard. However, it’s hard for people to take position regarding the legalization of assisted suicide by a doctor. People who are for the legalization are fighting to have the right to decide how much suffering to endure and whether to seek help from a doctor before they become incapacitated. The values shared by the people in favor for the legalization would be individuals that appreciate their freedom and compassion for others pain such as a human being we have the right to make our own choices so if a person wants to be release from all the pain, then that person should have the right to seek help to do so. The moral claim that supports this side of the debate would be a person should always do that which leads to the greatest amount of overall happiness. So according to this moral claim, a doctor should have the right to help, a person who is suffering and doesn’t want to live anymore with pain, to do so honorably and end his life . As doing so, a doctor will definitively do what the person is wishing for and thus create wellbeing for that person but also for his entourage.

On the other side of the debate, people against this legalization are fighting for the right to live and the value of life. The values that are shared by these people against assisted suicide would be, justice and order because it’s against the law to commit murder. On the other end, if we legalize assisted suicide, people may abuse of this right. For instance, people may choose to take the easy way instead of fighting for their life and thus definitively increase number of death. The moral claim that supports this side of the debate would be that a human life has fundamental moral worth which means that every life has a value and that life is a present that has been given to us and that should not be taken away from someone.

In my opinion, people should definitively be allowed to make their own decisions regarding their body, and that if sick they could have the right to decide to release their pain and to stop suffering from deadly diseases. They should have to the right to seek help from a physician to die in dignity in a control situation around their loves ones.

Dyck, Darryl. “Supreme Court of Canada agrees to hear appeal in B.C. right-to-die case.” The Montreal Gazette. January17, 2014. Web February 1, 2014.


The title caught my eye on this one because I also discussed assisted suicide. I understand both sides of the argument and how it would cause a lot of struggle for the doctors who would have to put an end to someone’s life. However, I agree with you, I feel that if I person is unhappy with their current situation and there is no other help for it, then they should have the right to end their own life. The value of compassion, as you mentioned, is an important one, and to me as well, I feel that watching someone in pain wither away for months on end waiting for death to come isn’t compassionate, and it isn’t really living is it? I also agree with individual freedom, it should be the person’s choice if they no longer want to live. I strongly believe in the moral claim that states everybody’s interest should have equal consideration, if a human doesn’t have the right to make the decision about their own bodies, then their interests aren’t being considered equally. Would it truly be so problematic to allow people to take their own lives?

I agree with your position that people should have the right to end their own life if they are unhappy and there is no other means to help them. It is a hard concept for most people to wrap their mind about because sometimes we let our emotions and stand in the way of the real situation. It is important to consider what the person wants in that stage of their life. Most people wouldn’t want to leave behind their loved one and take their life for no reason, that is why when a dying individual expresses that euthanasia is what they want, then it is not for nothing. Most of the time, people decide to end their lives because they are in excruciating pain and there’s nothing really left for them to do. Awaiting your death is not living; it’s cruel for both the suffering individuals and the loves ones who see the process. I strongly believe that people should have the right to make their own decisions and have their wishes equally measured.

What attracted myself to this posting is being someone that pro-life. This is totally contrary to my beliefs and values. I personally think assisted suicide should not be a legality. Even if one self is in total misery, we don't know what is in store for that person. A situation can drastically change for the better. We sould not have the right to decide someone's fate. I am also totally agree with the arguments you wrote above on the side against the legalization. If we lower our standards and values what will we do next?

I agree with your position on the matter. I believe making suicide a crime is the ultimate insult to personal freedom. No one is in your head except you and feels the pain you feel except you. If you decide that you can't take it anymore then so be it, this is your body and your decision. Human life should indeed be the most important thing but that particular life belongs to you and no one else.

I believe we should be careful with slippery slope argumentation. I don't think giving someone the choice of what to do with it's own life is lowering our values or standards and I don't think saying ''what could happen then'' is a valid argument. We should deal with issued one at a time , not fear for what our decisions will lead to in other matters.