Would you support killing someone if it meant saving them from a life of suffering?
by AmandaDoonan on February 2, 2014 - 2:39pm
February 2nd 2014
Would you support killing someone to save them from a life of suffering?
Kay Carter, an 89 year old women from Vancouver Canada who had been diagnosed with a degenerative spinal cord condition, went to Switzerland to end her life by drinking a toxic dose of “sodium pentobarbital”(Keller, 2013) because she no longer wanted to live a life of suffering nor did she want to follow in the same path as her friends whose bodies collapsed. She wanted to die and be in control, so that is what she had done. Because of Carter's assisted suicide by a doctor Canada struck up a debate on whether or not Canada should legalize assisted suicide by a doctor in the provinces. The debate in this article stated that Quebec was basically on board with the decision to accept assisted suicide by a doctor to be legal, but Ottawa was not on board and actually mentioned “we do not support assisted suicide, that is our governments clear position”(Keller, 2013). Therefore making it harder for Canada to agree on whether or not to legalize assisted suicide by a doctor. The values of this debate on legalizing assisted suicide by a doctor would be, fairness and individual freedom because if the person is in pain and wants to end their life, then that person should have the right to do so. The moral claims that support the decision to legalize assisted suicide by a doctor would be that, a person should always do that which leads to the greatest amount of overall happiness because if a person is and has been suffering for a long time and does not want to live a life that way, then he or she should be able to die when they want too, to achieve overall happiness for themselves and to save them from a life of misery and pain. The values that would support the other side of this debate being that assisted suicide should not be legalized would be, order, because if it is legalized then there will eventually be people who want to commit suicide because they are unhappy which means that maybe legalizing assisted suicide by a doctor would open up doors that should not be opened. Also the value of security for people's lives. For example if a teenager felt suicidal and wanted to end their life, where does the line get drawn if assisted suicide by a doctor is legalized. The moral claims supporting that assisted suicide by a doctor should not be legalized would be that a human life has fundamental moral worth, the sanctity of life, meaning that life is a gift that should be respected and a life should be taken when a life is supposed to be taken. In my opinion, assisted suicide by a doctor should be legalized because there are many people in the world who are suffering and not living a life that is supposed to be lived because of how much pain they are in. If a person cannot function and does not want their loved ones to remember them suffering, then they should be allowed to take away their own lives. People who have severe illnesses and disabilities that force them to not be able to live a happy life, should be allowed to take their lives away if they truly want to, and that is where the line should be drawn. So again, Would you be in support of killing someone if it means saving them from a life of suffering?
James Keller. (October 9th 2013). Court to rule on 89 year old doctor assisted death. CTV News, February 2nd,2013,http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/b-c-court-to-rule-on-89-year-old-s-doctor-a...