Olivia L. Michigan

Physician Assisted Suicide

Why you should be considering the proposal of legalizing physician assisted suicide in all of the United States.

In regards to the future president of the United States,

Suicide- a constant, wistful force that unfortunately still grazes its unwanted presence across more than 30,000 American people every year. Despite all of the statistics showing suicide performed by the person themselves without the assistance of a doctor, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed the California Natural Death Act on October 1st, 1976, presenting a whole new resolution, idea, and perspective to the constant debate of different types of suicide in the United States.

This new law permitted California to become the first state in the United States to permit terminally ill persons “the right to authorize withdrawal of life-sustaining medical treatment when death is believed to be imminent", as New York Times claimed on ProCon.org. Later, only 4 other states decided to follow California’s lead.

With Oregon, Vermont, Washington, California, and Montana (mandated by court ruling) being the only states to legalize this procedure, I propose to you the idea of legalizing physician-assisted suicide throughout all of the United States.

Despite the legal and ethical debate our nation is presented with about this sensitive topic, I believe in regards to the situation of the patient, and the consent of the doctor, physician-assisted suicide should become legal throughout the United States. With your help, we can help end the suffering of those who are undoubtedly unable to live.

I believe a certain criteria should be met by the patient who wants to undergo the procedure, meaning they must have an irreversible illness that has no other route but a sickening and painful death, or the unableness to carry out any other option, such as a life-long coma, whether pain is felt or not. It is currently stated in states where this law is legal that the patient must have a terminal illness that permits them with 6 months or less of life, and must be treated by a Doctor of Medicine or a Doctor of Osteopathy. I believe this law must still be held accountable if you consider legalizing it throughout the United States.

And why do I present this request to you?

A personal experience. A painful, personal experience, might I add. Pain not in my own body personally, but the experience I had to go through as I watched cancer deteriorate my papa’s life.

As an 80 year old man who lived a beautiful, long life, he knew he didn't want to go through chemotherapy. What purpose would it serve to him? A whopping two years on to his life? Not to mention the treatment itself is described to take an emotional and physical toll on the patient, despite the toll cancer takes already.

But why I'm sharing this experience, is because all I wanted to do was end his suffering, and I couldn't. He wanted to die. He knew he was going to die. He lived a prosperous life with a beautiful family, and couldn't ask for anything more. But the pain he went through, and the pain that 14 year old me had to watch him go though, was nothing a family should ever have to experience.

So please, future president, please consider my proposal, as I only seek to end the suffering to those who are forced to live with it, until their inevitable death.

Thank you,

Olivia Liberati

Allen Park High School

APHS Advanced Placement Language and Composition

Allen Park High School is located in Southeastern Michigan. AP Lang studies rhetoric. Additionally, students produce text to narrate, persuade, and inform.

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