The Pros And Cons Of The Right To Die

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Americans are taught from an early age that everyone is born with certain unalienable rights. The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are characterized as legal truths that cannot be taken away or denied. However, one must wonder if the right to life coincides with the right to die. This is the very question that has sparked controversy all throughout the nation regarding physician-assisted suicide (PAS). To clarify, the right to die is a person’s decision to end their life with the medical help and guidance from their doctor. Supporters of this idea argue that choosing when and how they want to die should not be restricted, and they should be allowed to have the ultimate say in their health care. On the other hand, opposers …show more content…
This problem calls into question if and when is killing acceptable. Due to the negative connotation that is associated with death, PAS has gained a bad reputation. Consequently, in regards to the ethics that surround PAS, those who are against the right to die have a much stronger argument. Some of the biggest advocates against the right to die are religious organizations such as the Catholic Church. The Church declares that it is, “fundamentally opposed to the practices, arguing that life is sacred and that killing and suicide are morally, legally, and spiritually wrong” (Facts On File). In addition, followers of the Church claim that these type of procedures defies the Bible’s Ten Commandments, the sixth of which orders, “Thou shalt not kill.” Likewise, the Episcopal Church asserts, “It is morally wrong and unacceptable to intentionally take a human life” (Sharp 8). Even though majority of opposers are religious groups, all denominations aside, there are still many who strongly disagree with allowing PAS. In a broadcasted discussion about twenty-nine year old, Brittany Maynard, who chose to die after receiving a diagnosis of terminal brain cancer, Mary Carter Waren, Professor of Ethics at Florida International University, argued that suicide is a choice of autonomy that is not beneficial for society. Waren reasons, “Life is the most important value we have. So, I would say the process that allowed for her [Maynard] to do that, is not a process that helps us as a society because it’s a highly individual decision that makes it look like you don’t need community...hope is a primary human value and I think suicide in general says to the community that life is not worth living, that the community is not enough, that there is no hope” (Viewpoint). Similar to Waren’s beliefs, the Family Research Council (FRC) describes assisted-death as inhumane, contending that any reasonable

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