Essay about Assisted Suicide
I examine the ways in which our cultural expectations with respect to death may be transformed by the legalization of assisted suicide. I suggest the inadequacy of the philosophical framework currently taken as the basis for discussing the advantages as well as the dangers of legalizing assisted suicide. I do not believe that individual autonomy is any sort of possibility for dying patients, regardless of the social policies that surround death in a society, insofar as our individual agency in this situation is necessarily intertwined with that of various relevant others. By means of a theory of agency relations, I attempt to show the dynamic ways in which we may all adjust to the option of assisted suicide as a …show more content…
Yet all these so-called meanings of death are more precisely identified as different social practices and associations surrounding death. Death itself is an event that exceeds our human capacity to wrest meaning from occurrences in the world. Strangely in our world and of it, death is also elusively yet absolutely not of our world. As when we speak of God, we speak of death in self-consciously metaphoric ways. We speak of a loved one's dying in terms of their "leaving us," "passing" or "passing away." But when we say they have left us, we mean only that they are no longer capable of interacting with us in daily physical interactions. We didn't really see them leave, and we have no real idea of where they have gone, even if we are believers in heaven and the immortality of the soul. And they do not fully leave us, remaining present in our memories, or in books or letters they have written or in sweaters they have knitted or in projects they have begun for us to finish.
Similarly, when we say someone has passed away, we experience their physical absence, but we don't experience their actual passing to another place, whether to nothingness or some spiritual realm. The event of death is one that we only understand from the side of the living. A person who dies passes out of our culture, but its not clear how they go, or where. We have no