Assisted Suicide and Culture

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Assisted Suicide is a topic that a lot of people try to avoid. However, it has been a topic that you see a lot in the news and in newspapers, articles in magazines and on some radio stations. The big debate is whether Assisted Suicide should be legal or banned.

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Some people view Assisted Suicide as a gentle and humane way to end someoner’s life that is suffering from a terminal illness while other people view it as murder. There are several ways to assist someone with assisted suicide but first the person requesting to die must go through a process. The process is extremely hard and it is a long process to get through(Oregon Right to Life, 2018). The person requesting to die must first be diagnosed with an illness that is not going to improve, with a diagnosis of 6 months or less to live. The person then has to make sure that they get a second opinion from a separate physician. If they dont get two doctors to agree then they cannot go through with the process of ending their life through assisted suicide(Oregon Right to Life, 2018). After getting the two doctors to agree that the end is at least 6 months or less for the person to live then the patient has to ask their physician twice for the drugs to end their life.

This request must be in written form, not verbally(Oregon Right to Life, 2018). The written request also has to be verified by two other people who then have to sign the request before the doctor will release the medication to the person(Oregon Right to Life, 2018). At no time does the doctor administer the medication, this has to be done by the person requesting the dosage(Oregon Right to Life, 2018). There is one definition that is used interchangeably with Assisted Suicide and that is Euthanasia(Nordqvist, 2017). Although Euthanasia or Mercy Killing is used interchangeably there is a difference between the two. The main difference is that with Assisted Suicide the act of ending oner’s life is always done by the patient where in Euthanasia or Mercy Killing it might be done by the patient or it could be done by someone else who is assisting them to end their life(Drexel University, 2018). Depending upon the religious beliefs of people, it determines whether or not they believe in Assisted Suicide. Various religions throughout the world have different beliefs in how they think about Assisted Suicide. Some of those beliefs vary greatly while some share the common belief that Assisted Suicide should be a personal choice and not one decided by someone other than the terminally ill patient.

In the Catholic faith they believe that a person should pray and spend time with family and friends and spend time in church if they have an illness that is terminal. They do not believe that ending your life with Assisted Suicide should be done and that it is a sin to end your own life(Donovan, 1997). Judaism believes that not under any circumstances should someone be allowed to take their own life or have someone do it for them(Steinberg, 1988). In the Unitarian Universalism religion believes in the personr’s right to choose how they are to die when they are terminally ill. They believe that people in their congregation can choose to end their life if there are no options left for them to choose from(The Right to Die With Dignity, 1988). Mormonism is totally against Assisted Suicide but look upon a life as precious and if death is inevitable then one should not use outside means to prolong their life(Euthanasia and Prolonging Life, 2018). Assemblies of God Churches are totally against Assisted Suicide and believe that the only one who can decide when someone dies is God himself, no one else has that right to decide when they are to die(Pew Research Center, 2013).

The Evangelical Lutheran Church In America believes that a person’s life is very valuable and that they should not end their life by using Assisted Suicide, however they also believe that the person’s life who is terminal should not be prolonged either(ELCA Message, 1992). The Episcopal Church believes that no one has the right to take a life, under any circumstances but they also like the Evangelical Lutheran Church do not believe in prolonging life if there is no cure in sight(Episcopal Church Resolution, 1991). Hinduism does not necessarily believe in Assisted Suicide but they do believe that if there is no hope for a dying person that there life should be ended, but most do not believe in this point of view in the Hinduism world(Nimbalkar, 2009). Islam believes that every life is sacred and therefore should not be taken by Assisted Suicide(Aramesh, 2007). The Southern Baptist Convention is also against Assisted Suicide and does not believe that a person should end their life due to a terminal illness(Southern Baptist Convention, 2017).

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