Assisted Suicide Essay

1485 Words 6 Pages
"The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government.” There seems to be no better time than now during which Thomas Jefferson’s words remain relevant, with a growing majority of the public supporting the legalization of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. These terms refer to methods of administering lethal medications by a physician to terminate the life of a patient. It is self evident that good government must care for the life of its citizens and must do anything in its power to prevent assisted suicide methods from corrupting healthcare. The editorial Dying Cause by the Discovery Institute, a public policy think tank, exposes the flaws in current assisted suicide …show more content…
Furthermore, the National Review has published the short blurb Suicide Contagion is Real to bring to light the social implications of widespread suicide. With strong support from several reputable sources, it is clear that Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide subject more economic, moral, and social harms on society than benefits and should not be legalized in the United States.
Primarily, legalizing assisted suicide would allow suicide to become a means of enabling patients to avoid high healthcare costs and ultimately favor their financial well-being over physical well-being. Wesley J. Smith, an established member of the Discovery Institute, brings to light that assisted suicide would become the preferred option for hospitals to advertise due to cost effectiveness. He explains that “when people learn that the drugs used in assisted suicide cost only about $40, but that it could take $40,000 to treat a patient properly so that they don 't want the "choice" of assisted suicide, the financial forces at work become clear” (Discovery Institute). Health care institutes are bureaucracies that will herd patients onto opting for consented death by raising costs for alternatives of assisted suicide. Legalization may seem to imply that there are more options
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Passive euthanasia, the euthanizing of a patient without their consent, is inevitable with the legalization of voluntary euthanasia and comes in package with other forms of mercy suicide due to the equal rights given to all citizens. The burden of euthanizing an unconscious patient first and foremost breaches the Hippocratic Oath, the oath all physicians must recite before entering their profession. The main clause of the oath, “First do no harm,” works to prevent actions of corrupt practice that will be made legal through passive euthanasia. Assisted suicide methods fall in direct opposition with the core philosophy of healthcare and negate the work put in by the entire profession. In addition, the case of passive euthanasia puts the burden of murder on the family and the doctor. Cases of passive euthanasia are not disregardable. In fact, according to the Remmelink Report conducted in the Netherlands, researchers “found that beyond the roughly 3,600 cases of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia reported in a given year, there are about 1,000 instances of nonvoluntary euthanasia. Most frequently, patients who were no longer competent were given euthanasia even though they could not have freely, explicitly, and repeatedly requested it” (Emanuel). With a prominent portion of passive euthanasia accounting for nearly one-third of all assisted suicides in

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