Is Assisted Suicide Ethically Justified

Is Assisted Suicide Ethically Justified?
Chriss N. Thomas
Baker College
January 15, 2012

Assisted suicide means that a physician or person provide the means needed for a patient to carry out his or her own suicide. An example of assisted suicide would be if a physician were to give a patient a lethal dose of medication which helps the patient kill him or herself. The cooperation of the physician or person may not necessarily mean they physically helped with the suicide, but morally cooperated because they approved of the suicide. This simply states that the helping individual morally assisted in the killing of an innocent person but did not commit the act of killing. The question is, is the act of assisted suicide justified and the direct killing of the person justified as well? The assisted act is considered justified because it was a moral decision but the direct killing of the person is considered not a justified act because the individual helping did not kill the person wanting to end their life. How can assisted suicide be ethically justified with these two questions at hand?
Those for assisted suicide believe that terminally ill people who will die and are in unbearable pain should not be held to continue to endure the pain against their wishes (Fenigsen, 2011). Fenigsen, who is a M.D., PhD of cardiology, also argues that the aging population and the increase in number of individuals in nursing homes and institutions for the chronically ill should be included in the ability to end their own lives. The Alzheimer’s patients are also included in the list of people who should be able to end their lives at their own will with the help of assistance.
The choice a terminally ill patient makes should be available to them in the event they no longer want to suffer. According to Dame Jill Macleod Clark, who sits on the Council of Deans of Health, states “those who have cared for terminally ill patients, friends or family know their greatest fears and anxieties...