Reaction paper- Assisted Suicide
In reaction to the law the Michigan Legislature recently passed outlawing assisted suicide, I found myself with many mixed feelings. I found myself often feeling bad for the patients Dr. Kevorkian dealt with but more often felt sorry for him that he should be responsible for so many deaths. It is a sad road to travel on when faced with a terminal disease. It includes many harsh realities and many are not prepared to deal with their illness. There are many aspects I chose to look at when preparing to write this paper. A person’s self-worth is one and also the doctor’s evaluation of a person’s self-worth. I chose to take my own personal stand on the issue, which includes my own opinions, feelings, and thoughts on the many controversies surrounding Euthanasia. I also chose to write about the “Slippery Slope” for I find it to be a very relevant and useful tool in looking at the topic of Euthanasia. This is a very interesting subject to me for I look ahead at the next few years of many painful deaths for a family that is getting very old.
When looking at someone’s self-worthwhat they feel they can offer, you have to put into perspective what they are dealing with. Of course, someone who is slowly dieing of a terminal disease is going to find their self-worth at virtually nothing. They are depressed and in pain and are not capable of doing things on their own any longer. What pride is there in that? Most people find none. On a more personal level, I would find pride in waking up each day, and in waking up each day trying to find something to smile about. I could find pride in knowing that even though I am dieingand I am in painthat I am still able to be strong for the people who love me. I find pride and dignity in that and that makes my self-worthsomething worth saving.
I have been brought up in a Catholic family. Therefore, many of my opinions on controversial issues such as this stem from my upbringing. However, I have been able to do the research and form my own opinions. And, even so, I still think assisted suicide is wrong. When one person is responsible for the stopping of another person’s heart from beating, it should be considered murder. And, I equally agree that it shouldn’t have taken a case where Dr. Kevorkian pulled the switch to get him convicted of murder. He was a murderer the entire time for merely presenting the option, supplying the materials, and providing his services. He was, because of those three things, partly responsible for that person’s death. It can not be held justifiable for a person who wants to be shot and killed to ask another to fire the shot and expect them not to be held accountable for what they did. The society we live in today, does not condone such actions.
While I do find it a sad and heartbreaking circumstance, to be faced with a terminal illness where pain and suffering, loss of memory, and loss of self-worth could take place, assisted suicide is still wrong in my eyes. If I were faced with a situation such as this, where a family member of mine was suffering, I would just have to do the best that I could to be there for them. And, because they are my family, it should not feel as an obligation but as a duty to make sure they know their self-worth and their reasoning to keep a life in this world until it is time for them to go.
I have heard of warnings of sliding down the slippery slope. This evolution is utterly predictable if assisted suicide is legalized. It’s called the “camel’s nose” effect. The camel puts his nose into the tent to see if he can get away with it. If so, he keeps moving in until he’s fully inside, hump and hooves. Many are unaware of the history of legal euthanasia in the Netherlands. It began with a doctor responding to the wishes of her terminally ill mother who was in much pain. Within a few decades it encompassed killing infants born with non-fatal diseases – Down’s syndrome and spina bifida. Patients in persistent vegetative states, often incorrectly referred to as “comatose,” are also now legally killable in Holland. Is this where the United States is headed? I can’t imagine it to be true. I have met a Down’s syndrome patient and written many papers on the disease and one thing about them is that they tend to be very happy individualsnot finding themselves without self-worth.
Dr. Kevorkian has stuck his foot in the door on the subject of Euthanasia and only begun our journey down a potentially “slippery slope”. It is in my own personal opinion that assisted suicide is wrong under any circumstance and that there is a time for death and when the time does not call, no one has the right to enforce such a calling. While my heart goes out to the families of the many patients suffering with illnesses that leave them in pain and suffering, if I could tell them one thing it would be, “Hold on to life and the days you wake up and can find no self-worth are the days that are opening up with a challengeyou have to work hard and have to be a fighterno one likes quitters so keep fighting and you’ll find your self-worthyou’ll find your pride.”
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Reaction paper- Assisted Suicide