For my final blog of the semester, I’ve chosen to write a little more extensively about advance directives and how I personally feel about the debate between Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) and Human Euthanasia. It is an argument that spans across the disciplines; sociology, psychology, and of course, medical. Not enough people choose to discuss these end-of-life decisions let alone the “taboo” subjects of how we choose to die.
Too many people are afraid of their own mortality to even think about making decisions regarding their death. They believe that if we ignore it like it doesn’t exist, then it just isn’t going to happen to us. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work out because our demise could come at any moment’s notice. Wouldn’t you like to be the one to bring up the subject to your family so that you’re sure, when the time comes, that you are both getting the care that you’d want and deserve?
Then there is a topic that is even more avoided – PAS and Euthanasia. While a major difference in the two has to do with the method of execution, it is the most important. The questions is: “Do doctors have the right to kill patients per their request?” In the case of PAS, I believe the answer is yes. Under the certain conditions laid down by the law, PAS should be legalized in many more states than it is now. The doctors assist with the writing of the drugs, but they are not directly involved with the suicidal act; the patient chooses to take the drugs him/herself. It helps people to put an end to their misery when they’d be in pain or suffering otherwise through their death process.
On the other hand, euthanasia requires the doctor to give the lethal injection of an anesthetic drug. In my opinion, this should remain illegal. I don’t believe it is right for doctors to put people to death under the law because their job is quite the opposite. I think that many people would take too much advantage of euthanasia as others are in countries where it is already legal, unless they put down strict requirements for the request. The choice of how a person dies should be theirs alone; if we as a society learned to be less ignorant about death, we’d be more informed and able to make these decisions.