The field of medication has grown exponentially since its humble beginnings, having gone from penicillin to the likes of gene therapy and 3-D printed body parts. The limitations however, are apparent in the face of terminal diseases - incurable illnesses that cause almost certain death. They are truly devastating afflictions, though some terminal patients manage to cope with their conditions. Others, not as well. The pain alone is enough to completely cripple even the strongest. Some countries have an alternative available - the option of passing on voluntarily, better known as physician-assisted suicide. It is however, outlawed in most of the world, but why is that so? What right do governments have to control a terminal’s life, when one is in such pain and agony? Physician-assisted suicide should be a matter of free will, rather than a matter of law. Induced death for the terminally ill should be a natural extension of one’s rights as it is simply irrational and cruel to forcibly continue a terminal’s immeasurable suffering against their will when there exists a much better solution, one that is better suited for everyone.
Terminally ill individuals should have the liberty to choose the path of physician-assisted suicide. One’s life belongs to no other, but oneself. Based on that principle, on what grounds should governments have an authority over a terminal’s desire for a peaceful end? Everyone has the natural right to life so why should one not have the right to die as per their own will when even the best treatment is incapable of improvement? The right to physician-assisted suicide should be recognized and respected as a natural freedom. However, that is evidently of little concern to the many countries around the world who instead declare it illegal. In China, for example, the act is punishable by life imprisonment, under articles 232 and 233 of the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China (https://euthanasia.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000136). Perhaps this is principled to some, but it is simple hypocrisy. Governments continuously posture and preach about what is moral, yet the majority are more than willing to preserve an existence of unimaginable suffering and call it a life. That, is immorality. The fact is, the laws regarding physican-assisted suicide condemn terminally ill individuals to unnecessary torment. In effect, the current constitutions banning physician-assisted suicide only serve to extend the suffering and agony of terminal patients.
It is only logical that physician-assisted suicide be available to the terminally ill, as the act of forcing one to continue a life that consists only of suffering is inhumane and goes against what healthcare stands for. Quite often, it is argued that a doctor is one who gives life, that it goes against their oath to provide physician-assisted suicide. But a doctor’s purpose is to alleviate one’s pain and to improve the quality of one's life - is that not paramount? Consider this scenario - a patient is suffering from ebola hemorrhagic fever and has less than three weeks left. Understanding that only torment lies in their future, they desperately request a physician-assisted suicide. What sort of physician would want to deny this dying patient the option of ending their suffering and avoiding an agonizing, painful death? The reality is that no matter how you look at it, the outcome will typically be the same at the end of the day. Physician-assisted suicide is simply a means to procure the best possible departure for a terminal patient. The intention behind it is ultimately to respect the wishes of the terminally ill and provide them with the peace that they seek.