Should Physician Assisted Suicide Be Allowed?

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Should physicians be allowed to help patients determine the timing and circumstances of their death? The “right to die” debate is a very sensitive and complex issue in modern culture. While suicide is a legal act in the United States, assisted suicide is not. Opinions on the subject are shaped by countless factors such as ethical issues, social issues, and primarily religious issues. Many people are opposed to the legalization of physician assisted suicide for “moral” reasons, however, legalization ultimately allows terminally ill people to die with dignity, sustains basic human rights, and supports freedom of religion. A vast majority of the opposing force is against legalization of physician assisted suicide for “moral” or religious reasons. It is also commonly argued that participating in assisted suicide is incompatible with the physician’s duty as a healer, or that it is unnecessary to legalize it because suicide is already a leading cause of death in the United States. John Pearson, in his article “Assisted Suicide is Unnecessary”, states that “Assisted suicide invites compromise among caregivers or family members who might have economic or otherwise selfish interests in hastening another’s death…” He goes on to mention that it is unlikely that people are capable of making such a decision in the midst of crisis or severe pain.
However, those in favor of physician assisted suicide recognize that in some cases the choice to die can be a means of relief for those living
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