- August 17, 2012
- Posted by: essay
- Category: Free essays
The assisted suicide traditionally evokes numerous ethical and legal issues. Nevertheless, some legislators tend to implement legal acts which legalize assisted suicide. In this respect, it is worth mentioning the Oregon assisted suicide law, which actually allowed adults with incurable diseases who were likely to die in six months to obtain lethal drugs from their doctors (Liptak and Kershaw, 2004). However, the introduction of such a law inevitably raises the problem of responsibility of health care professionals as well as the problem of taking decision on the assisted suicide.
In fact, the Oregon assisted suicide law aimed at the prevention of sufferings of patients and assisting them in realization of their will to end their life in case of having an incurable disease. At first glance, the law is just and it can have potentially positive effects. First of all, the assisted suicide is allowed only in relation to patients who will not live more than six months. Therefore, patients cannot be cured for sure because their lifespan is too short to be cured with the help of a new remedy or technology. Secondly, patients can suffer from unbearable physical as well as moral pain because often terminally ill patients are helpless, when they need assisted suicide. Otherwise, they would commit suicide on their own to avoid physical sufferings and moral sufferings. For instance, patients suffering from Edwards Syndrome, which are infants, who normally die within six months of age, are vulnerable to serious physical sufferings. Even though the law counts for adults only, similar genetic disorders can be found in adults too. They cannot avoid physical sufferings or death that makes assisted suicide a kind of relief for them. Furthermore, the assisted suicide is conducted under the control of a doctor, who gives the lethal drug. As a result, the doctor ensures that the patient will die fast and painlessly.
However, the assisted suicide law is not as good as it may seem to be. In fact, this law is dehumanizing and contradicts to basic Christian moral values and principles. In this respect, it is possible to refer to Christian principles, which laid the foundation to the modern western civilization and which are truly universal. According to Christian principles, an individual cannot commit suicide, while assisted suicide cannot be interpreted otherwise but a murder. In fact, what doctors do, while giving a lethal drug to patients, is an act of murder not a mercy that is one of the greatest sins a human can commit. Basically, they use their professional knowledge and skills to kill people. Such an act contradicts not only to moral or Christian values but also rebel against the fundamental idea of Christianity that human being should live in accordance to divine laws. In fact, what doctors do is an attempt to play God. They attempt to substitute God while assisting patients to commit suicide since it is only God who decides whether a man worth living or not.
Thus, assisted suicide contradicts to fundamental moral values and norms of Christianity. Moreover, assisted suicide is unacceptable because humans cannot decide when and how they should die, while the God’s will can save people.
As a result, the introduction of assisted suicide laws, such as the Oregon Assisted Suicide law, is absolutely unacceptable.