How Far Does Our Freedom of Choice Go in Life?
The United States was based on a set of principles created to ensure people’s individual rights. These freedoms we have been granted are the reason that our nation has thrived. When we are living we tend to push aside the thought of death and the way that it will happen. It’s not rare to hear of a person we know in the hospital with a terminal illness such as cancer. To us, that person is just another patient who is sick in the hospital, but what we don’t know is that person may be so weak it hurts to move, or may have undergone so many treatments they can’t imagine having to go through the process one more time. Physician assisted dying is a process that can help the terminally ill die in a more peaceful manner. It is when a physician or healthcare professional helps a terminally ill person voluntarily bring about his or her own death. The physician will provide the patient with the drugs or equipment to end their own life.
An article on Boston.com discussed the recent debate of legalizing physician assisted dying in Massachusetts. Dr. Marcia Angell is a leader in supporting the initiative. Angell said, “Her father shot himself to death rather than die from metastatic prostate cancer in 1988. She believes he would’ve lived longer and not turned to a pistol had assisted suicide been available.” For many terminally ill patients, the option to have assisted dying isn’t about choosing to die over living; it’s about how they are dying. Is it painful, long, heart-breaking, and agonizing? These are questions we must think about when we are faced with the option to legalize physician assisted dying. If you were a terminally ill patient, would you want a safeguard option? Would you want a peaceful last resort? Legalizing physician assisted dying will improve the health care system and the lives of terminally ill individuals by respecting the freedom of choice.
The legalization of physician assisted dying has been a...