Assisted Suicide

Should assisted suicide be legal?

Denise Sanders

PHI 103 Informal Logic

Professor John Moore

January 24, 2011

      Assisted suicide laws are clear in many countries and it is illegal, however there are some countries and states such as Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and three American states: Oregon, Washington and Montana it is legal. “In ancient Greece, the government gave hemlock to those who wanted it. William Shakespeare memorialized the Roman practice in Julius Caesar by depicting Brutus running into the sword held by Strato. Opposition to the practice is also not new, including in the United States; by 1868, more than half of the thirty-seven states in the nation prohibited assisted suicide” (Egendorf,2004). Even though there are several debates against this topic, it is not up to others to make decisions that violate the rights of the ill. In addition, allowing physician-assisted suicide patients continue to keep control over their situation.

      Dr. Jack Kevorkian, by far the most recognized physician and most famous, for his belief in the rights of an individual to make end-of-life decisions. By the late 1980s, Dr. Kevorkian was searching for ways to relieve the pain and suffering of the terminally ill patients and mentally competent. “Although acquitted many times in the 1990s for helping end pain and suffering of patients, Dr. Kevorkian was convicted in 1999 for assisting a man with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. While in prison, Dr. Kevorkian wrote the book Amendment IX: Our Cornucopia of Rights. He is currently a free man having served 8.3 years in prison and two years of parole on a 10-25 year prison sentence” (The Forum on Law, Culture, Society, 2006).
Part I: Thesis
    Assisted suicide is the common term for notorious actions by which an individual helps another person die by their request. The requestor is usually terminally ill. There are many reasons why...