Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
When a person has an irreversible illness with a prognosis of up to six months to live, should that person decide when to die and if a doctor assists a terminally ill patient in a peaceful death, is that mercy or murder? For most, death seems too far in the future, too scary, and unsettling that many choose to not think about it. However, many people fall victim to terminal or incurable illnesses therefore their life is encompassed by when their last day will be. As a matter in fact, many patients with terminal illnesses want the option to die with the assistance of their doctor prescribing lifeending medicine because it will end their excruciating pain and agony from their illnesses. Yet, not all physicians agree if allowing patients to die with dignity through assisted dying should be an tangible option. This is because there is controversy surrounding if a terminally and mentally ill patient has the capacity to give consent and if assisted dying is suicide. However, after considering the pros and the cons, it is indispensable for our society to accept that competent terminally ill patients should be given the right to assisted dying because it liberates them from their suffering, reduces financial pressure, and preserves their individuality.
It may seem atrocious for someone to wish death upon themselves but either way a terminal patient will die in a maximum of six months so it should be their decision on how they will die. Many patients strongly advocate for the right to assisted dying because otherwise they will live the rest of their life in excruciating pain because the closer they get to their death, the more incompetent and childlike state they will succumb to no matter the treatments they undergo. Many of terminally ill patient’s symptoms can consist of losing consciousness, memory, speech, sight, movement of their body, and personality changes which not only cuts off from any form of communication while the person dissolves in abyss but also creates a shell of the body that person once was. This very well can be a patient’s worst nightmare not only to themselves but to their families as well, therefore, assisted dying not only relieves a terminally ill patient from their worsening physical pain but it eliminates any pre-existing uncertainties and emotional stress they have about the quality of their death. Brittany Maynard, a young woman who passed away in 2014 from assisted dying was victim to a aggressive form of glabiostal brain cancer agreed with the empowerment of assisted dying. She once stated that she was contempt that she could die peacefully with the people she loved, aware of her surroundings because it has given her a peace of mind that otherwise wouldn’t have allowed her to embrace the rest of her life. Assisted death boils down to patients like Brittany, being in control of how much pain they want to handle because it becomes a safety net that relieves ongoing physical and emotional pain that comes with a terminal death, allowing patients to live freely before they pass.
Medical technology has achieved many feets in a short period of time and it has helped dying people stay alive for as long as they can. However, a dying person that is maintained through machines amounts massive debt from hospitals. As a matter of fact, “The cost of maintaining a dying person has been estimated as ranging from about two thousand to ten thousand dollars a month” Keeping a dying person alive can seem pointless considering their expectancy to live compared to the amount it costs to maintain them. Accordingly, terminal illnesses does not only immensely affect the patient with the illness but also the family because once a dying person passes,all the debts will be passed onto their family members. Therefore, if terminal patients want to die because of a decision based on their individual opinion then it is a plus that families have pressure relieved off of them. However, a terminally ill patient should never feel they need to die because they feel guilty for amounting debt on their family because the decision to die should not be based on obligations; instead it should be a process solely based on the patient’s individuality.
When someone is terminally ill, no amount of medicine will suffice and the closer a terminally ill person gets to their death the more excruciating pain they are in. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if they will die but what matters is how they die. Everybody including me and you want to die with purpose the way we lived and we want to be in control of our own destiny. The last couple months,weeks, or days for a terminal patient’s life should be filled with dignity and without the feeling of uncertainty. And when the pain becomes unbearable, they know that they can die peacefully, aware of their surroundings and having immense love for those around them in their final moments.