Legalizing physician-assisted suicide

Legalizing physician-assisted suicide as a natural right is in effect, a benefit for everyone as the hardships encountered will be reduced with terminal patients controlling the circumstances in which they pass. When a patient discovers their condition as a terminal, there are always strong emotions. Obviously, this is largely accounted for by their discovery of how little time they have left. But another big reason is the gradual, harsh realization of how much hardship they may cause. For one thing, terminal patients usually cause much grief within their family, due to the revelation that they could quite well die at any moment.

Physician-assisted suicide can help with that, in that it provides advanced notice of one’s passing so that families can handle it better and have an opportunity for a proper, final goodbye. Another constant concern, is medical expenses. The thing with medication is that treatment generally has a price attached to it, whether it is successful or not. A competent dying person knows this - the longer a dying patient is kept treated in a hospital, the higher the resulting bill skyrockets. And the sad comparison is, most families cannot afford it.

“The cost of maintaining a dying person has been estimated as ranging from about two thousand to ten thousand dollars a month” (Dworkin 187). Human life is evidently very expensive. Of course, most do not even stop to consider the bill while the patient is still breathing, desperate to prolong what little life is left. But by the time that breathing stops, it is far too late. To leave one’s family in financial ruin is definitely not the legacy most wish to leave behind. If physician-assisted suicide was an option, this would not be an issue as it would ease both family finance issues and overall suffering. That is the beauty of physician-assisted suicide - it allows one to peacefully and painlessly depart this world with dignity and on their own terms.

The inherent right to physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill must be fully recognized and respected. It gives one the opportunity to alleviate their pain and pass on with dignity in a way that is beneficial to not only oneself, but the people close to them, as well. Allowing a terminal patient physician-assisted suicide is allowing them the autonomy to finish the final chapter of a well lived life.