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Assisted Suicide: Criminal or Justified?

An essay about the controversial subject of whether or not assisted suicide is justified or a criminal act. I wrote this for one of my classes. I have included all references.

    Assisted suicide is a controversial subject that has been under major scrutiny as to whether it should be deemed justifiable or criminal. This controversy began in the late 1980’s by Dr. Kervorkian when he built his “suicide machine”. “This machine was built using $30 worth of scrap parts scrounged from garage sales and hardware stores. After building this machine he set out on a mission to end unnecessary suffering. March 14, 1998 marked his 100th assisted suicide.”(pbs, 2011)                                                                                                  “It is argued that sanctioning assisted suicide would violate the rights of others. Doctors and nurses alike might find themselves “pressured” into cooperating in a patients suicide. In order to satisfy the desires of a patient wanting to die, it’s unjust to demand others go against their own deeply held convictions.” (Andre & Velasquez, 2010)         

    I can understand the feelings that Wolfe had when she saw how her father had dwindled away in front of her. It’s a terrible thing watching one of your parents or anyone else that you love go through what her father went through. I would not want to ever have to go through anything like that, but I guess in a sense I did. I watched an aunt go from a vibrant, active member of the church and community, in just a few short months, to a bed ridden lady of only about 90 pounds. A person I could barely recognize as my aunt. So I, even though it wasn’t a parent, know something of what she must have been going through. It’s hard to watch someone you love, suffer and wither away to nothing, but I don’t think I could ever be able to allow someone to assist one of my loved ones to commit suicide. I came from a very religious upbringing and I was raised to believe that suicide was a big no-no.

     In 2010, my sister’s husband became deathly ill. He started having headaches and we kept telling him that he needed to go to the doctor. He was diabetic and had already had to have one of his legs amputated, so it was imperative that he not put off going to a doctor. He was stubborn and kept putting it off until the pain got so severe that he just couldn’t stand it any longer. When he finally went to the doctor they found that he had severe sinus allergies and they gave him so medicine to combat the infection and the allergies. He was sent back home, but the medicines weren’t working and his headaches were steadily getting worse. My sister took him back to the doctor and they sent him straight to Charleston S.C. to MUSC and they found that he had a flesh eating fungus in his sinuses, jaw and roof of his mouth. This resulted in him having part of his jawbone and palate removed. The doctors were afraid that they hadn’t gotten all of it and were afraid it would make it’s way to his brain. He was so sick that was sister was told to bring in his living will along with a DNR(do not resusitate) form that he had signed. He had said many times that if it come to him dying or living in a vegatative state, he’d rather die. He was afraid that my sister wouldn’t be able to carry out his wishes so he signed a DNR.

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