Legalizing Physician Assisted Suicide

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In current society, legalizing physician assisted suicide is a prevalent argument. In 1997, the Supreme Court recognized no federal constitutional right to physician assisted suicide (Harned 1) , which defines suicide as one receiving help from a physician by means of a lethal dosage (Pearson 1), leaving it up to state legislatures to legalize such practice if desired. Only Oregon and Washington have since legalized physician assisted suicide. People seeking assisted suicide often experience slanted judgments and are generally not mentally healthy. Legalization of this practice would enable people to fall victim to coercion by friends and family to commit suicide. Also, asking for death is unfair to a doctor’s personal dogma. Some…show more content…
The witness requirement does not protect the patient from the very real possibility of the patient being persuaded into requesting physician assisted suicide in order for an inheritor to receive their inheritance. Physician assisted suicide allows outside influences to make patients feel its their duty to choose death. On the other hand, it is offered that people should be given the freedom to choose a peaceful death at their convenience. Burke Balch explains the opposing argument; “They argue that society should respect and defer to the freedom of choice such people exercise in asking to be killed” (Balch and O’Bannon 1). The ‘right to die’ campaign, where some believe it is a personal right to ask for death, is a prevalent push towards the legalization of physician assisted suicide. However, the legalization of the ‘right to die’ can become a slippery slope to abuse of this right. Randall O’Bannon, Director of Research at National Right to Life, demonstrates this slippery slope; “the so-called ‘right to die’ is very likely in practice to become a ‘duty to die.’ Many consider the law to be the teacher of what is right and proper, and such a codification would be manipulated by the health care industry” (Balch and O’Bannon). The practice of physician assisted suicide could quickly become abused by people who see the human life of those who are
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