Physician Assisted Suicide 1
. Presently, Oregon is the only state in the United States in which physician assisted suicide is legal; however, California is currently considering whether or not it should legalize physician-assisted suicide as well.
The opposing side argues that if physician assisted suicide is legalized then the major role of healing that doctors play in our society would be diminished and replaced by the role of assisting in death. However, this argument is based solely on personal opinion and is not necessarily true. The role of a physician in our society is also to help and comfort the patient. Timothy Lace, a medical student in the Texas University College of Medicine, claims that “physician assisted suicide should be legal because it is a doctor's role to relieve suffering”.
The debate about Euthanasia is an ancient one but it has acquired a new relevance in recent times as advances in medical science have greatly extended human life-spans and it is now possible to sustain life for indefinite periods through artificial means. A closely related issue is whether it is ethical for physicians to assist in their patients' suicide in order to relieve their pain and suffering. Seemingly weighty arguments have been advanced both for and against the issue, but the debate still remains unresolved. A closer scrutiny of the pro and con arguments, however, reveals that the case against physician-assisted suicide does not carry sufficient weight and it is, in fact, a humane act which should be allowed in all civilized societies.