Assisted Suicide In The Yellow Wallpaper By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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The clash of ideology describing whether or not life is a privilege or a right has become an increasingly prominent issue in the politics of society today. One of the major topics falling under this moral dilemma is assisted suicide. Assisted suicide, also known as euthanasia, is commonly known as the act of suicide brought upon someone willingly by a trusted physician. As this concept has been extremely controversial, two main arguments have formulated equally passionate claims which add to this endless debate. While one side believes that this use of euthanasia defies societal norms, the other claims that it is crucial to those who are suffering due to agonizing diseases or injuries which will eventually become fatal. Understanding which …show more content…
One example of this is the short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 1892. Although this story does not explicitly depict assisted suicide, it does symbolize the immense pain which patients endure through the downfall of the narrator while she attempts to cope with depression. The story details the descent of the main character into a spiral of depression while her husband misunderstands this diagnosis and believes the deterioration of her health can be fixed by alternative methods rather than the treatment she truly needs. The husband, who is a doctor, wins all of their arguments, and through this submission, drove his wife to her demise. Frank Magill, a nineteenth century author who wrote numerous articles criticizing various fictional works, once composed a review on Gilman’s controversial short story. Magill discusses how the pain which the narrator felt symbolized not only her physical decline, but the decomposition of her mental health as well. He states that, “deprived of any meaningful activity, purpose, and self-definition, the narrator’s mind becomes confused and, predictably, childlike in its fascination with the shadows in the wallpaper” (Magill 1). While not a straightforward connection to assisted suicide, this quote clearly relates to how patients who cannot undergo euthanasia feel devoid of any substance or motivation to participate in most meaningful activities. Terminally ill patients, as well as those with irreversible injuries, understand that their lives are coming to an end, and would rather undergo assisted suicide than continuously suffer knowing they will never recover. Rather than be unethical, euthanasia is the morally correct decision as it allows patients to not have to sit idle and agonizingly

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