Consider someone who has grown very sick with almost little or no chance of living through the next year. It’s a time one is consistently under pain, pushing through the days hopelessly. This agony and pain is probably worse than death. It drags the life out of a person. If this were to happen to a friend of yours and they wanted to die, would you help put an end to their suffering? The act of letting a friend of relative end their life is called physician assisted suicide.
This practice is legal in 5 states in the USA. The people in Oregon, California, Vermont and Washington voted and legalized it; Judge Dorothy McCarter of Montana has ruled it as a legal practice. 41 other states prohibit such actions and the rest 4 states do not have specific laws regarding assisted suicide.
Physician Assisted Suicide Pros
If a person is suffering from a disease that cannot be cured, it is probably best to let them choose how they end their life. Supporters hold opinions like the following ones:
1. Reduce Pain and Suffering
Terminal diseases can cause a lot of physical pain as death nears. The pain can also turn into fear as the patient knows that death is just around the corner. Physician assisted suicide can help cut short the patient’s suffering as well as the pain their family and friends feel when they see them suffer.
2. Respect the Right to Die
If a person has got the right to live, they should also be given the right to die as per their own will. It’s inhuman if we are force people to live the life with their sufferings even if they want to quit.
3. Reduce Medical Cost
This is very cruel but is also one of the powerful physician assisted suicide pros. By knowing about the patient’s death beforehand, the family can cut down on medical costs. This also means lower insurance premiums and more money saved, since drugs for assisted suicide are far less expensive than the cost of medical care. This sounds cruel but it saves the family, the hospital and the government a lot of money that can be used to help someone else.
4. Remove the Guilty Feeling
Terminally ill patients often feel that they are a burden to their friends and family. They feel that they only cause grief among their friends and family, emotionally and financially. Medical care costs a lot of money, with bills sometimes running as high as $100,000. Patients are often aware of this and feel very guilty about it. For most people, it is best to remove this guilt by letting them choose physician assisted suicide.
5. Use Resources Effectively
If someone decides to end their life, the hospital resources can be rather used to serve the savable patients so as to increase the chance of survival as a whole and thus decrease the death rate. Hospitals face a shortage of medical staff and unavailability of a doctor can spell death for another person who might want to live. By letting the patient die by their own will, it allows other people to get quicker medical attention.
6. Protect Religious Rights
From a religious point of view, denial of someone from dying is a violation of their religious freedom. It is like denying the patient from knowing about their beliefs about the afterlife according to their religion. It is unknown what happens to one after they die and it should be left to the patient to determine what they want to believe in.
7. Help Families Handle the Loss Better
This is one of the really important physician assisted suicide pros. With proper plans in place and with family and friends informed of the patient’s wish ahead of time, the stages of grief can be easier to handle for everyone. In addition, everyone is given the chance to say proper goodbye, including the patient himself.
8. Laws Can Prevent Misuse
Reasonable laws are one of the important physician assisted suicide pros, which helps in maintaining a proper balance between preventing right abuse by doctors and protecting human life. In fact, places such as Oregon and countries like UK have laid down laws that require the advice of at least 2 doctors, along with a psychologist to verify the patient’s decision-making abilities.
9. Donated Organs Help Save Lives
Pre-informed death can help hospitals to save the vital organs of the person willing to die. These organs can then be used to save others in need of them. If the disease continues to grow, it might render these vital organs unfit for transplantation. These organs are required by many people and often people don’t receive them on time. This can save numerous lives as a person can donate multiple organs.
10. Guard Patients' Dignity
With physician assisted suicide being legalized, patients can choose their own death in such a way that retains their dignity. Patients can choose to be surrounded by family and friends and enjoy whatever they might enjoy during their last few moments. This way, the patient knows that they’re going away peacefully, without creating a mess or losing their dignity. This is one of the physician assisted suicide pros that encourages people to opt for it.
11. Have a Better Ending
Studies have shown that senior citizens commit suicides most often and in excruciating ways. They might resort to painful and often violent methods of suicide such as a bullet to the head or by overdosing on sleeping pills. Physician assisted suicide is much more humane and leads to a quick and painless death, which is much better than dying slowly, with excruciating pain.