Catherine S. California

Assisted Suicide

If you were going to die suffering, would you end it before the pain becomes unbearable? Assisted suicide is a serious topic and needs to be talked about more.

Dear Future President,

Some people want to die, to end their misery. Not a lot of people talk or even know about assisted suicide. Also known as euthanasia, euthanasia is the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering. However, physician assisted suicide is the term used because it is voluntary, while euthanasia is both non-voluntary and voluntary. This practice is illegal in most of the United States, if you want to end your live you would have to move or live in Washington, Oregon, California, or Vermont. In Montana it is up to the court. However, in order to do this you have to be at least 18 years old, able to make and communicate decisions on your own, and you have to be diagnosed with a terminal illness that would lead to death within six months. I believe that assisted suicide should be legal in most or all states with these guidelines.

How would you feel future president if you or someone you loved was going to die in a few months and they would die suffering? Would you want them to die early before they start their misery or force them to wait the slow count to their inevitable death? Think about Brittany Maynard, she was diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumor and she decided to have assisted suicide if her pain become too painful to bear. She and her husband moved to Oregon to take advantage of Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, which allows terminally ill residents to end their lives with the assistance of a physician. An advocacy group said about her death, “passed peaceful in her bed surrounded by close family and loved ones.” With assisted suicide people can die peacefully with loved ones around them before they die miserable. In Oregon, Washington, and Vermont 1,727 people have died with assisted suicide. This may not seem like a lot throughout the three states, but all these people chose to die before they were going to go through agonizing pain. On October 5, 2015, California governor Jerry Brown signs End of Life Option Act, which legalizes physician-assisted suicide for Californians with terminal illnesses. Brown wrote while thinking about his own while he was wondering if he should sign the bill, “I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill.” Remember, assisted suicide is a choice, it will never be forced. But, for people across the U.S. if they knew that they had the option of assisted suicide if they were going to die suffering, it could be a relief to them. This may seem expensive or costly but the average cost is about $35 to $50. So this will be affordable for almost everyone.

So, will you, future president support this? Will you let the people vote to legalize assisted suicide? Tell the people the benefits of assisted suicide. Remind them it is a choice and they could also choose to die without assisted suicide. Though it is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court established that the due process protects a patient’s ability to refuse medical treatment, even if that refusal would ultimately lead to the patient’s death. Even if the constitution does not support assisted suicide, it is really up to the state to decide in the end. Yet, in the states where it is allowed, it is not in high demand, so it’s not going to be like everybody will be dying from assisted suicide. If all 50 states allowed it in 2014 there would have been only about 6,492 assisted suicides. Also, research shows that 66% of U.S. adults believe that doctors or nurses should allow a patient to die in certain circumstances. So that means that more than 60% of adults believe that if need be a nurse or doctor can decide if the patient should die early or they get to keep on living for a little bit longer.

People should have the right to decide if they want to have assisted suicide in most or all 50 states. But of course, the patient would have to be under the guidelines to do it, there cannot be any other reason to do it. It’s important because people should be able to choose to die early before they start suffering from an illness that will cause their death eventually. I’m sure no one would want to spend their dying moments in a hospital bed in pain and just wanting it to over with, would you? What I want from you future president is to inform the U.S. about assisted suicide, and make them have the choice to have assisted suicide in most or all states, not just five.

Sincerely, Catherine S.