Courtney L. Michigan

Assisted Suicide

Assisted Suicide

Dear Future President,

Briefly, I would like you to use your imagination and take a walk in somebody else's shoes. Picture this: you were diagnosed with a brutal sickness awhile back, and there you are. You are sitting in a hospital for months after months and yet things just won't improve. Everyday the pain exacerbates. The doctors are constantly reminding you that your life is limited. Wouldn’t you prefer a choice of whether or not you wanted a physician to put you to rest peacefully? Although difficult to comprehend, people scattered throughout our country feel this pain all the time. Currently, the act of assisted suicide is legal in Oregon, California, Vermont and Washington through state law. In addition to these states, it is also legalized in Montana by court ruling. However, the United States Supreme court as a whole, has ruled this act illegal. Therefore in most states, there is no constitutional right to physician assisted suicide. So I am writing to you, the future president, in hopes to eventually change this law, to allow extremely unhealthy individuals a choice of their death. I personally believe if any terminally ill individual wishes to die, it should be legal for them to do so. A few reasons that lead me to believe this way is that their quality of life is exceedingly low, and will most likely pass naturally relatively soon, also those individuals could choose a much more violent way to kill themselves, and it is their own personal right to chose their own destiny.

To begin, these individuals have such a low quality of life and respecting their wishes is imperative. If a terminally ill individual requests to die, it is simply inhumane to allow them to continue suffering. Many supporters of assisted suicide see it as simply because of their compassion and respect towards the dying. When a human being is so close to death, they should have an option of whether or not they want to permanently end their pain. In the article, “Judge Refuses To Block Assisted Suicides” it mentions, “Elizabeth Wallner, a Sacramento resident with Stage 4 colon cancer who attended the hearing, said she had cried with relief when the judge denied the motion to suspend the law. 'I want to have the ability to control the end of life and protect my child from watching me be tortured to death,' she said. 'It just gave me an immeasurable sense of peace.’” Any kind hearted individual would understand that assisted suicide provides the terminally ill with a considerable option as they reach the end of their days. Assisted suicide gives an overall comfort to surrounding individuals, knowing the patient wished to die this way. A large part of legalizing this act is simply recognizing and respecting these individuals and their wishes.

To continue, individuals who wish to die have accessibility to a variety of much more violent and disturbing ways to do so. As horrible as this sounds, they could be tempted to kill themselves freely in a much more brutal way. Suicide and physician assisted suicide are two entirely different things. Assisted suicide allows sick individuals to die safely and peacefully under the care of a doctor,  as opposed to brutally and cruel on their own. In the article “Enthusia Should Be Allowed For Emotional Suffering” it states, “For someone in extreme distress, though, how is the option of a razor to the wrist or a gun in the mouth more morally palatable than a physician-administered drug? And how is a mess left behind for a family member to find more compassionate than drifting off in a hospital bed?” Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages ten to twenty four. Many are choosing to kill themselves in such violent ways yet for whatever reason, it is illegal for a physician to give in to a patient's wishes and let them die calmly.

Finally, I believe it is an individual's personal right to choose their own destiny. As citizens of the United States, we are entitled to rights. If somebody who is terminally ill wishes to die, it is crucial that we give them the option of physician assisted suicide. A compassionate individual would conclude that any terminal patients should be able to conserve the individual right to determine their own destiny and to end their suffering. The article “Assisted Suicide” states, “Supporters of this viewpoint claim that assisted suicide respects the individual’s right to determine his or her destiny. Likewise, some physicians feel that it is appropriate for them to end the suffering of a patient who is capable of making a rational decision and asks to die.” It is in the best interest of the patient to have a choice. If the patient requests to die, then a physician should be allowed to end their suffering and give them lethal drugs, it is their personal right to make that decision.

    In summary, I know this one small, relatively insignificant letter won’t change everything. However I want you, the future president, to consider my personal thoughts and opinions, even if your personal opinion may differ. I hope that eventually, I can contribute into making a good, healthy change in the future.

Clarkston Community Schools

Hausauer 5th Hour

Fifth Hour Honors ELA 10

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