Doctor-assisted suicide should be allowed

Daniel Green

This opinion will be unpopular for many, so I’m just going to put it out there.

People should be allowed to kill themselves.

Before you accuse me of advocating for people to kill themselves, allow me to explain.

Recently, a woman named Brittany Maynard announced that she was going to kill herself. Maynard had been diagnosed with brain cancer.

In a video discussing her choice, she explained that she had six months to live and planned to use a combination of medication to end her life.

This emotional issue has reignited the old debate about whether people who are sick deserve to make a choice about how they die.

It can be hard to discuss these topics because of their sensitive nature.

Everyone has lost someone or is currently losing someone that is going through some sort of illness. And we all want that person to hold on in order to get better.

Unfortunately, the reality is that not everyone can get better.

Sometimes medication or therapy is just delaying the inevitable.

Who are we to ask someone to hang on when he doesn’t want to? We can support him and love him, but at the end of the day, we can’t carry his burden.

Why should a person who is in pain and is slowly dying live an extra two months of pain because we are uncomfortable with death?

When talking about those people with terminal illnesses looking to end their lives it’s easy to overlook one of the most important questions.

Do they really want to die?

Obviously they are trying to end their lives, but do they really want to die?

I’m willing to bet the vast majority would rather not be dying at all. This is not a suicide like we are probably used to.

This is not the same issue as a depressed person trying to kill himself. A person with a mental illness can receive treatment or medication to try to get cured.

We can and should help the mentally ill in order to help achieve a full life.

Sadly, this is different than someone who has gone through every treatment and has seen every doctor and has been told there is nothing more to be done.

Some people will hear this and fight on. They will have hope and rely on family, friends or God and they might pull through by some miracle.

But it should be a choice, and this choice should be in the hands of the person with the illness alone. Not doctors, the government or even family.

To be perfectly clear, I’m not advocating for assisted suicide in the sense that I believe those people who are sick should be encouraged to end their lives.

However, I believe that whatever time someone has left should be spent doing what he wants. Whether that means fighting, knocking stuff off a bucket list or ending life on individual terms.

When I started this article Maynard was still alive and before it was printed she ended her life.

While I’m not happy that she’s gone I am happy that she was able to live and end her life on her own terms.