Author- William Baumgarth
Assisted suicide is a controversial topic. Assisted suicide is just as it sounds, getting help in order to die.
I’m a strong believer in the notion that every life is precious and must be protected, however, I am opposed to legislating my morality onto others. The government in my eyes has one role, and that it to protect the individual, and the individual’s property rights. If a human being wants to take his/her own life, that is their decision and nobody should be allowed to intrude on it.
Assisted suicide is currently legal in several states, including: Oregon, Montana, Washington, Vermont, California, Colorado and Washington D.C, but these are restricted to terminally ill patients. It is performed in a medical clinic, and administered using a deadly poison.
It is not the government’s role to save people from themselves. If a person is determined to die, they will find other methods to end their life. With assisted suicide, you’re ensuring that this death is bestowed upon the person in a painless fashion. If the person who is determined to commit suicide, has a failed suicide attempt, because he/she did it alone and didn’t want to get anyone else in trouble, he/she can end up in more pain doing a botched job.
In fact, you should give the person a choice of chemicals that will take their life, leave the details completely up to them. This is individual responsibility at its finest.
I’m not saying that doctors should HAVE to administer the poison either. I know that if I were a doctor, I wouldn’t want to assist people with their suicides. Therefore, I believe we should privatize assisted suicide. If a husband is asked to help his wife with suicide, and there is clear documented evidence of such, the husband should not face any criminal charges for doing so. Therefore any person could assist in a suicide, as long as the party who wants to commit suicide grants this person permission.
There must be clear documented evidence, and the person must be in his/her right mind at the time of the request. If there is no such proof, the suicide isn’t actually suicide, it is murder. How could we do this without regulation? It’s simple, the individual clinics would not wish to receive murder charges, therefore they will do everything in their power to provide accurate documentation. It’s self regulation rather than government regulation. Consent must be proved and provided.
Assisted suicide could not be extended over to children and the mentally disabled, because these people are incapable of giving consent. If the person who has a mental disability such as Alzheimers has written in their will that she/he wishes to die if he/she develops a mentally disabling disease, prior to getting the disease, he/she shall have their wish granted.
It is not a role of government to save people from themselves, or legislate morality. I am very opposed to suicide because I am religious. I believe that no matter what circumstances, a person should live, but I refuse to impose that belief onto others. So let us, as a society, understand that not everything we find to be immoral, should be illegal.