Assisted Suicide

1285 WordsOct 8, 19996 Pages
Assisted Suicide In thousands of homes across the nation victims of terminal illnesses sit in pain due to their sicknesses. Should these people have to go through all of that pain and suffering just for the end result of death? Should these people have the right to assisted death, to rid themselves of unbearable pain? This topic has been one of the great controversies over the last several years. Not too long ago if someone was found assisting in suicide, it was seen as a felony crime. But recently there have been court cases taken up in two federal appellate courts that ruled terminally ill patients have the right to seek doctor assisted suicide (Carter 1). These cases took place in New York and Washington. This added two…show more content…
The ability to perform legal assisted suicide would help to replace some of the dignity which the illness has extracted from a person's life. It would give the person the capability to end matters on his own terms. John Stuart Mill, one of the great philosophers of the nineteenth century, derived a theory which is an excellent example as an argument for the legalization of doctor assisted suicide, or all moral crimes for that matter. This theory was deemed the "Harm Principle": a person is wholly sovereign over his body. It is no one else's right to invade a person's body. Therefore, since one is fully autonomous over his physical body, one should have the ability to do as he pleases with it. This holds true up until the point where his actions bring harm to another human. Doctor assisted suicide is a perfect example, one's body is his own and only his; therefore, if one chooses not to suffer needlessly for months or even years who is to stop him from utilizing the procedure? Some would argue that this does cause harm to others in an emotional sense, yet this is not the issue, and not how Mill thought it should be interpreted. Now that the moral issues have been discussed, what about the rights which the Constitution of the United Stated guarantees its citizens? Under the provisions of the fourteenth amendment, the same
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