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.


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Your post is excellent. It highlights clearly the pros and cons of this debate (and also confirms my position on this subject).
If one thing is clear in my mind, it is that personal liberty should always prevail on anything else. This is why I believe that Assisted Suicide should be available, but only to people who are terminally ill and have no other way to stop their suffering than dying. In the third paragraph, you mention that 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." It would indeed be absolutely stupid to offer to a depressed and instable individual the option of suicide. This is why legalizing assisted suicide is not black or white. It would not be accessible to anyone who ask for it. Is it not immoral to leave terminally ill people suffer until their death?

This is a very interesting issues many countries are now facing, I actually wrote about the same topic. Your summary was good but it wasn't really clear for me. I preferred your last paragraph were you analyzed the situation, and stated your personal opinion about assisted suicide. I think that in order to legalize assisted suicide there must be specific role in which the patient should face before eligible. For example, many doctors should treat the person in order to establish many opinion, to see if the person is really eligible to assisted suicide.I definitely think that it should be legalized, I mean the person should have the right to end his or her life if it isn't a life anymore. Being healthy we can judge how sick people feel, if our life only constitute of pain we probably would want to end it to. I think that the person who is suffering should be able to end his or her life just as someone wanting to have a heart transplant, it is a crucial life decision so in either case they should be allowed.

Your topic is good since it is an important debate that is presently studied. However, I hardly get the pros and cons of the issue. I think that assisted suicide should be legalized since too many people die suffering. I wouldn't be able to see someone I love suffer the few days left to his/her life. Someone whose days are counted (less than 6 months) and who wants to die should be allowed to assisted suicide. It is important for me to respect people's last wish. However, how can we make sure there are no abuses of the system?

I chose your case study because of the main topic; Assisted Suicide. I like your idea of adding in your first paragraph the example of the 29 year old Californian woman it makes it more interesting to continue reading. My opinion of this subject is that euthanasia should be legalized, because if I had to pass the rest of my life in a hospital not having a normal life, I would like to have the option of assisted suicide. However, reading your opinion about this topic helps me understanding the cons.
Bravo, well done!

Your topic is really fascinating, and well introduced, as it clearly in my opinion highlights the pros and the cons of assisted suicide. I believe that though some people might find it morally wrong to assist an individual to take his or her own life, assisted suicide should be made legal for the simple reason that an individual as all rights to do as he or her wishes with their life. Nobody can really know the reason for a person to take his or her own life except themselves. It all goes down to them no longer being able to withstand the pain and suffering or causing pain to family or friend. So many reason can make an individual make such choices. What do you think?

This is a very well written article that points out good arguments for both sides. I agree with you that before reading this article I had a pretty strong stance on the fact that assisted suicide should be legalized as people should not be denied the right to be taken out of whatever pain they may be enduring. Though when the point that it may impede with the efforts to try and cure rare diseases was brought up, it opened my eyes that there is more to it than just taking a life. That certain theories may have been tested in order to save this person which could, in turn, have saved many more lives down the line. I believe this is a value conflict between the doctors will to serve others in a positive way and the patient's individual freedom to chose whether they wish to live or not. Although your article has opened my eyes as to why assisted should not be legalized, I still believe people should have the right to choose. I strongly believe in the values of wisdom and forgiveness and we should take into consideration that the patients have enough wisdom to decide whether they should end their lives or try to fight. I do believe our society is getting not only more ethical than before, but also more informed than before. People are able to take stronger stances on a certain side due to the ever increasing amount of information they can find to formulate a more critically thought out idea of the topic. Does the increased access to information allow society to make a better decision about the topic or is it more of a topic influenced by our values and ethical principles?

This post was the one that really followed what the assignment was asking for. There were a lot of beliefs mentioned that were covered in the textbook entitled Ethical Choices: An Introduction to Moral Philosophy with Cases. So the arguments covered ethical values of equality versus ethical egoism and explained them as the two opposite approaches showing relativism and explaining the for and against assisted suicide being a product of relativism. Some people think this way others, due to their belief systems think another way.
Some people have MS or multiple schlerosis and end up lying on a bed sipping through a straw. But because they still have a fine mind, they have to stay alive. But they have no quality of life. If we allow these persons to be put to death, will this pave the way for one day other people deciding if I should live or die? Where would it end? You cannot start to take Gods work into your own hands because then you will loose control of this power and begin to think that we are God. And start making decisions as if we were Him. If we are for assitsed suicide instead of against assisted suicide will we open the door to a next level. Who gets to make the decision or approve the decision if it is not God? Are we going to as a next step start deciding for other people like our elders, that they are too old and should die?

This text is really great. It shows both views with great arguments from both sides with objectivity. Before reading this article I was against it, but the arguments depicted in this text really made me realize that we all have our own personal liberty. Therefore, we have the right to decide whether or not if we want to live or die if we are suffering in our dying bed. I don't have much to say about it a part the fact that the text was well written and made me change my mind about this social issue. Knowing all of this, would it be considered as a suicide to end our lives?