Definitional Argument: Physician-Assisted Suicide Is Ethical

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Definitional argument: Physician-assisted suicide is ethical

Most people have felt down on themselves at one point or another during their lifetime. Imagine feeling down or upset during most of the day, this is a state of depression. Approximately 14 million people experience a depressive disorder each year. Eighty percent of these people do not receive a proper treatment and some even turn to physician assisted suicide (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention). Physician assisted suicide is where a patient is helped in the process of suicide from the doctor. Assisted suicide is wrong for ethical reasons, both professional and social.

Patients request assisted suicide after being in a severe state of depression. They are usually depressed because they don't feel accepted or they feel like they have lost something and will never regain it. Suicidal patients can suffer from loss of loved ones, being a victim of a terminal illness, or the loss of health, wealth, and power. Most patients who are suffering from a terminal illness also undergo a depressive disorder and see no reason to continue living (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention). The patients who choose assisted suicide are making their own choice and feel that they have the right to be assisted in their own death.

Assisted suicide is immoral and brings many serious consequences to future laws. The first ethical principle for a doctor is "A doctor shall bear in mind that the aim of medical practice is to promote, maintain or re-establish people's individual and collective health... (Ethical Code of Andorran College of Doctors)" Killing in anyway is harm to someone and that breaks an ethical principle which doctors vow to uphold to by reciting the Hippocratic Oath. Assisted suicide is also an issue because if legalized, similar laws could be passed in the future.

If a law is passed legalizing physicians to help end an individual's life, one of society's most valued assets in today's world, what other laws could be passed? Passing a law to allow suicide sends a terrible message to anyone who is not only depressed, but anyone who has become dependent on others due to an illness or old age. Passing the law sends the message of "we don't really care if you're around or not" instead of keeping the practice illegal and sending a message "we care for all and want everyone to be around.” Legalizing this practice will ultimately cause much more harm ...
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