Right to Commit Suicide

The problem of suicide inevitably evokes a number of ethical issues since, on the one hand, a suicide is an act committed by an individual and the decision to commit a suicide is normally taken by an individual independently from other people. On the other hand, an individual who wants to commit a suicide apparently lacks the support from the part of his/her relatives and other meaningful people. Moreover, often people cannot commit a suicide on their own, because of limited physical abilities, for instance and, in such a situation, the external assistance may be needed that raises not only ethical but also legal issues.

In fact, an individual apparently has a right to life and it is up to the individual what to do with his life. In such a context, an individual has a right to commit suicide. But it is necessary to take into consideration causes of the suicide. As a rule, people commit suicide because they have some mental problems at the moment. Consequently, if an individual has mental health problems he cannot be responsible for his actions and, therefore, he needs external assistance. The latter does not mean the assistance in suicide, as it was the case of the terminally ill 30-year-old patient of Dr. Kevorkian (Lahey), but, instead, the patients needs a psychological or psychiatric help to overcome his psychological or mental crisis. In addition, it is necessary to take into consideration possible pressure from the part of the relatives of people committing suicide, as it was the case of elderly parents of a woman who assisted them both to commit a suicide (Lahey).

Thus, an individual has a right to live, while the right to commit a suicide contradicts to human nature and mentally healthy person cannot commit a suicide and therefore he does not have such a right.

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