Arguments for Assisted Suicide

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This becomes a less volatile terminology that can be discussed on terms that do not suggest sin, mental instability, and can call into question policies of illegality. A definition of voluntary euthanasia is that it takes place when a patient who is dying or who is in intolerable pain asks someone to help him or her to die to avoid any further suffering (Cleave, 2001, p. 22). Most cultures, including the Western culture, is very linguistically affected by how different terminologies are used to define a topic. However, the word euthanasia is more often associated with the act of putting down an animal, so therefore that term is also not sufficient for the discussion. Suicide and Culture The event in question concerns helping someone who for one reason or another has decided to end their life. The most basic reason for suicide, that an individual is miserable and decides to end a life that has become unbearable purely for reasons that are based upon how they feel within their life, is a type of suicide that cannot be socially supported in Western cultures. According to Barnes, Golden, and Peterson (2010), men complete suicide more often than women, Montana has a higher rate of suicide over New Jersey, and people in the Eastern European country of Belarus have a higher rate of suicide than the United States. China, on the other hand, has a much higher rate of completed suicide by women than men. Culture is highly relevant to the rate of suicide and more importantly, 60% of all suicides are attributed to depression. Attributing suicide to depression, however, is based upon theory rather than medical evaluation and is a culturally based… Once again, it is how the topic is discussed that frames the event, the language that is used in forming the concept that defines its presence within society. The association to depression, while a clinically evaluated disease, is still a disease that is assessed through a determination and is often undiagnosed previous to the event of suicide. Therefore, the cultural assessment of suicide is that it occurs because individuals have been influenced by a feeling of despair that is caused by mental illness, therefore it cannot have been a decision made through sound and evaluative thinking. This social evaluation of suicide has influenced the way in which the choice to end one’s life because of terminal illness has been assessed. Society has yet to acknowledge the benefits of assisted suicide when the decision has been made to end one’s own suffering, but the event of suicide is best done under the care of a medical professional, or a friend who helps to ease the burden of self inflicting the event of suicide. Finding a relatively painless way to die when life has become unbearable is not a right that has been given in the United States. Assisting someone else to die is considered murder and is a burden to anyone who agrees to provide that service. Dr. Jack KevorkianDr. Jack Kevorkian is the most renowned physician to support assisted suicide. His beliefs extended to anyone who desired to end their own life. One of the more famous quotes from this doctor was simply that dying is not a crime.