Assisted Suicide

Pathway“Assisted suicide is suicide undertaken with the aid of another person. The term usually refers to physician-assisted suicide (PAS), which is suicide that is assisted by a physician or other healthcare provider. Once it is determined that the person’s situation qualifies under the physician-assisted suicide laws for that place, the physician’s assistance is usually limited to writing a prescription for a lethal dose of drugs.

In many jurisdictions, helping a person die by suicide is a crime. People who support legalizing physician-assisted suicide want the people who assist in a voluntary death to be exempt from criminal prosecution for manslaughter or similar crimes. Physician-assisted suicide is legal in some countries, under certain circumstances, including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, parts of the United States and parts of Australia. The Constitutional Courts of Colombia, Germany and Italy legalized assisted suicide, but their governments have not legislated or regulated the practice yet.

In most of those states or countries, to qualify for legal assistance, individuals who seek a physician-assisted suicide must meet certain criteria, including: having a terminal illness, proving they are of sound mind, voluntarily and repeatedly expressing their wish to die, and taking the specified, lethal dose by their own hand. The laws vary in scope from place to place. In the United States, PAS is limited to those who have a prognosis of six months or less to live. In Canada, anyone with a disability qualifies to die by physician assisted suicide. In other countries such as Germany, Canada, Switzerland, Spain, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands, a terminal diagnosis is not a requirement and voluntary euthanasia is additionally allowed.” (Wiki)

“In recent years, there has been a growing debate surrounding the practice of assisted suicide. Assisted suicide is when a doctor provides a person with the means to end their own life, typically through the administration of lethal medication. This practice is often controversial, as there are a variety of ethical and practical concerns that surround it. One of the primary ethical concerns with assisted suicide is the issue of autonomy. Many opponents of assisted suicide argue that it violates a person’s right to self-determination. They argue that a person’s life is their own, and they should be the one to decide when and how it ends. proponents of assisted suicide, on the other hand, argue that autonomy is not an absolute right, and that there are certain circumstances in which it may be outweighed by other considerations. Another ethical concern that is often raised in the debate surrounding assisted suicide is the issue of slippery slope. Many opponents of assisted suicide argue that it could lead to a situation where people are pressured into ending their lives prematurely. They argue that assisted suicide could be used as a tool to coerce people into choosing death over life. proponents of assisted suicide, however, argue that this is not a valid concern, as there are a variety of safeguards that can be put in place to prevent abuse and misuse of the practice. The debate surrounding assisted suicide is complex and multi-faceted. It is an issue that raises a variety of ethical and practical concerns. Eclecticism is all about having options and personal choices in all areas of life including the end of life. There are times when the rights of the individual outweigh the expectations of society.” (TEWAI)