Doctor Assisted Suicide And Suicide

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Doctor assisted suicide is a topic that has recently become a much larger debated issue than before. A timeline put together by Michael Manning and Ian Dowbigging shows that prior to Christianity, doctor assisted suicide was something that was tolerated, and was not heavily questioned (2). Yet, in the 13th century, Thomas Aquinas had made a statement about suicide as well as doctor assisted suicide, and his words shaped the Catholic teaching on suicide into what they teach today. Beginning in the 17th century, Common Law tradition frowned upon suicide, as well as assisting in suicide, and the colonies had adopted the Common Law principles. (2) In 1828, New York passed a law completely outlawing the assistance of suicide, and made it to where whomever assisted in the suicide could be tried for murder. In 1976, California became the first state to allow patients to withdrawal themselves from life saving medicines, and this Natural Death Act was seen as a gateway to assisted suicide. (3-7) As controversy about California 's Natural Death Act increased, Pope John Paul II released a statement in 1980 which opposed to killing someone out of mercy, but allowed the increased use of painkillers (8). Although, in 1994 Oregon passed their Death with Dignity act, and with it came incredible amounts of backlash. Yet, in 2008 Washington state passed the same act to legalize doctor assisted suicide. (10-12) In most people 's lives, they will experience a moment of knowing death is near.
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