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“Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – The Holy Bible
To pop the poison pill or not – that is the question. Life sometimes sucks under the best of circumstances, but what if days are spent in a hospital bed slowly suffocating to death as cancer eats away the body or perhaps Alzheimer’s slowly takes away the past and every familiar face. Fear of the pain and the suffering, fear of a quality of life, which is horrible, maybe there is no point in delaying the inevitable. Suicide is traditionally understood as the act of taking ones own life. Participation in assisted suicide entails making a means of suicide (e.g., providing pills or a weapon) available to a patient with knowledge of the patients intention. Although society is divided on the subject of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia , debate has intensified in the U.S. over the question of whether terminally ill people should have the legal right to obtain a doctors help in ending their lives.
Physician-assisted suicide is among the most highly controversial bioethical issues in recent history. Every reasonable person prefers that no patient ever contemplate suicide (with or without assistance) and recent advancements in pain management have reduced the number of persons seeking such assistance. However, there are some patients who experience terrible suffering that can’t be relieved through pain medication and seek relief. Peter Rogatz, author of “The Virtues of Physician-Assisted Suicide” states, “PAS isn’t about physicians becoming killers. It’s about patients whose suffering can’t be relieved, and about not turning away from them when they ask for help.” Decisions about assisted-suicides are complicated in that they take place in hospitals or under the supervision of health care workers. In these situations workers are guided by the Hippocratic oath, which advocates respect for all human life. The justifiability of suicide intervention in such situations rests on which moral consideration is weightier: autonomy or respect for life. Given the unique duties of health care workers, respect for life outweighs the principle of autonomy. “Once legalized, physician-assisted suicide would become routine. Over time doctors would become comfortable having PAS as an option. Comfort would make us want to extend the option to others who, in societies view, are