Assisted Suicide -- the Right to ChooseAssisted Suicide -- the Right to Choose
Should a person have the right to take his own life? Does a society
have the right to go against a person's wishes, when they harm noone else?
Should a person have the right to have a friend or a counselor assist them
in the taking of their life? Does a society have the right to convict a
person for murder if this person was assisting a good friend in suicide?
It is evident in today's society how much religion controls the minds
of the lawmakers, or how closed-minded a state, or even a country, can get
because of the special-interest religious leaders. But we can not attack
this problem by attacking the leaders, alone; we must also attack the laws
they make. And we can not use morality to attack these laws, we must use the
Constitution of the United States of America.
It is said in the Constitution that "Congress shall make no law
respecting the establishment of a religion, or abridging the free exercise
thereof". The courts have interpreted this recently to extend further than
Congress, but to apply also to every state within the union. With this
established, we can now approach this issue from a social, logical, and
Constitutional viewpoint, and throw out any and all religiously moral
reasons to outlaw suicide.
So, what reasons are we left with to make suicide "wrong", to make it
illegal? Does it infringe on the rights of others? According to the
Constitution, it does not, since emotional loss is not deemed "wrong". Does
it, then, infringe on the right to live of the person commiting the act?
Again, according to the Constitution, a person may put him or her self in
any danger they wish, so long as they do not infringe on the rights of
others. Does a person not have a choice whether to live or to die?
Certainly, since the person had no choice when they were born, this must be
the case! God must have put us here for a reason, right? Well, maybe so,
but we've already established that religion is no excuse to make a law in
this country, unless we throw out the Constitution altogether.
It should be obvious, now, that there is no reason, bar a person's
religious beliefs, that suicide should be deemed "wrong", and certainly not
illegal. Now, we move on to the second part of the issue: assisted suicide.
In this country, a person's signature is used to grant permission for a
school, a workplace, a hospital, or any number of other establishments to put
their life in danger. This means that a person has the right to own their
own body, to do with it as they please; and that said person may give
permission to another to do the same, though usually there is an unwritten
promise made to ensure safety.
A person's "Last Will and Testament", again, is written to ensure that
a person's last wishes are carried out. A person may give permission to
certain family members or friends to take care of their children, to take
certain money from the bank account, or countless other acts to what used to
be the person's property. Also included is what will happen to their body.
Do they want to have a religious ceremony? Do they want to be burried at
sea? Do they want to be cremated?
So, with all of these acts of persmission, why is it not feasible for a
person to give permission to another to aid in the taking of their life?
In the case of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, there is a big stir about him
counseling terminally ill patients with their families, hooking them up to a
machine, and allowing them to commit suicide. Remember, this isn't a guy
from the street telling another guy to kill himself, and then going and
injecting a lethal substance into their bloodstream. Dr. Kevorkian is a
trained pathologist counseling a person who is in constant pain and allowing
that person to change their mind right up until their final breath. Yet,
many states have already passed laws against this, and more are likely to
What is to be done to a person who aids in his or her best friend's
suicide? Is he to be locked up for life because he respected his friend's
wants and needs so much that he helped out? Or is he to just turn away from
his friend, deem him "crazy", and send him off to a mental institution,
losing the love, respect, and trust of his friend?
It does not make sense to me, and I hope that it does not make sense to
you, as well. I hope it is now obvious that these laws need to be
challenged by the Supreme Court. The only way to get that done, however, is
for you, a citizen of the United States of American with concern for the
future of this country, the future of your children, to challenge it and
speak up, as well.