I am a firm believer of the ideal that a persons life is their own, and they can do with it what they will. That being said, it might be a good idea to have some sort of mandatory counseling before hand, which I understand would be very annoying to some, but if it convince a couple people that their life actually was worth living it might be worth it. I certainly believe that people who have a terminal illness and are in a lot of pain or have a significantly diminished quality of life should be able to kill themselves painlessly. I personally have Alzheimer's in my family, and were I to become afflicted with the disease, I would not want to live past a certain point. I don't ever want to become a burden on my loved ones. Nor do I want to live past the point where I can no longer remember enough to function.
Another user's perspective:
Yes. I lost my dad to suicide, so most people would probably think I wouldn't agree, but here's why. Yes, it took years to come to terms with why he did it, and to accept it. Now looking back, the one thing that bothers me, the one thing I can't get over, is that he was alone. That thought still brings tears to my eyes even 7 years later. What I wouldn't give to have been able to be there and hold his hand, to tell him I still needed him but I would be ok, to say all I want to do dad, is be here for you like you've been for me. No one should have to leave this world alone. EDIT: Thank you all so much for all the responses. I'm really overwhelmed with all the personal stories, condolences, and support. I'm reading every one and you all have brought be to tears too. Knowing my story touched some of you truly means so much. And thanks for the GOLD! - msm2485
No. I understand that the majority opinion on this issue will be: Yes, of course it should be legal for an adult who is suffering to end their life, as long as they are sound of mind and not coerced into making the final decision. But I just don't see it that way. Our laws are based on the implicit premise that life is good, that life is worth protecting. As an American, I remember reading in school the Declaration of Independence where it said that life is one of our "inalienable Rights." From google: in·al·ien·a·ble inˈālēənəbəl/ adjective 1. unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor. Life is not ours to take or give away. Murder is murder, according to the Declaration, even if it's your own life. Our laws are put in place to uphold an impossible ideal. And so: No, an adult should not have the option to legally sign a medical suicide waiver and end their life. Now, does that mean I don't think there's an appropriate time for suicide, or even murder? Of course not. But in these cases the law, no matter what it says, will do nothing to stop it.
Everybody discusses the personal choice issue, which seems to provide an obvious answer - but legally, this is a very thorny issue. There is, and must be, a massive difference between suicide and "assisted suicide" because you are carving an exception to the definition of murder. If I inject you with deadly poison, that would make me a murderer. If you asked me to do it, under the current law, I would still be a murderer. So let's change the law. OK, fine. But, what if I am lying and you didn't really consent? Do you take my word for it? We can't ask the dead person, so the evidence here is a real problem. Oh, I need a signed paper you say? Notarized too? O.K. So now, suppose I'm telling the truth. The guy really did ask me to inject him. He consented. I was his friend and I tried to help. He couldn't afford a doctor. BUT, we didn't put it in writing. So now what? Do I get the electric chair anyway - for failure to fill out the proper paperwork? Or, how do I know the person is actually competent to give consent? Is depression a valid basis for suicide? Bipolar disorder? Or does any mental illness render the consent invalid? Does being suicidal without a physical illness mean you are mentally ill and thus incompetent to give consent? Does the doctor have to consult a mental health specialist to verify competency for the consent? Oh wait, only licensed doctors can legally kill people under your law? Are they really in that business? Does that violate their oath? How many will sign up for that? Will it meet demand? What if his license is expired, does it become murder then? I can see why a legislature might not want to open Pandora's box here.
Opponents argue that assisted suicide is a red line that cannot not be crossed.
Allowing physician-assisted suicide would be a grave mistake for four reasons. First, it would endanger the weak and vulnerable. Second, it would corrupt the practice of medicine and the doctor–patient relationship. Third, it would compromise the family and intergenerational commitments. And fourth, it would betray human dignity and equality before the law. Instead of helping people to kill themselves, we should offer them appropriate medical care and human presence. We should respond to suffering with true compassion and solidarity. Doctors should help their patients to die a dignified death of natural causes, not assist in killing. Physicians are always to care, never to kill.