Mar 08 2013


Assisted Suicide – Considering the Individual or the Community

Posted at 4:29 pm under Euthanasia, Uncategorized

Every year many people visit Switzerland and spend thousands on one of the many significant tourist attractions of Switzerland – assisted suicide. Assisted suicide is the process of ending one’s life with the help of another, usually a doctor. The usual customers who pay for assisted suicide, otherwise known as euthanasia, are terminally ill patients who choose to end their lives in order to ameliorate their circumstances. However, in many countries, assisted suicide is not legalized and many patients are forced to pay for expensive euthanasia operations in Switzerland. So the question is, should assisted suicide be legalized? And is there any justification for assisted suicide?
A. C. Grayling argues that assisted suicide should be legalized in England, primarily because obviously one does not want to continuously suffer from pain and helplessness from his/her illness, and that with a well thought-out decision, such a choice should be a human right. Peter C. Glover’s position is that assisted suicide should not be legalized and is not justified, because often the tendency towards suicide is transient and legalizing euthanasia would create “a culture of uncertainty”, meaning that the quality of life would be questioned and doubts of the effects of remaining alive or dead would be drawn upon society.
“While the biblical and conservative worldview is focused on the higher good of the community, one usually finds that the secular liberal focuses on the rights of the individual.”, says Glover, the Christian man who believes that assisted suicide can never be justified. His reasoning is how euthanasia will affect the community. My take on this? The community has no correlation with one’s life, and doesn’t own the person’s life. Yes a person has to consider his/her community and important associations, but regardless of the community, it isn’t the community who is suffering an illness. Rather, I’m inclined to Grayling’s position – “when one has requested that help while mentally competent and with a settled resolution, is a human right that ought to be respected.”
I feel that as human beings, since we are able to make our own decisions, and since we are willing, and if not willing, forced to accept the consequences, then choosing assisted suicide is a choice that should be allowed. After all it is only from the choices that we make, that we can only learn and progress on from. And what the community decides on or thinks, may not necessarily reflect on one’s true desire and true thoughts, thus it’s rather incompetent to consider the community rather than one’s own opinion.


Grayling, A. C. “It Is Compassionate to Permit Assisted Suicide.” Assisted Suicide. Ed. Noël Merino. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Current Controversies. Rpt. from “Allowing People to Arrange Their Death Is a Simple Act of Kindness.” Times 31 Mar. 2009. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 8 Mar. 2013.

Glover, Peter C. “There Is No Justification for Legalizing Euthanasia.” Assisted Suicide. Ed. Noël Merino. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Current Controversies. Rpt. from “Euthanasia: Can It Ever Be Right to Legalise It?”Catholic Insight 17.2 (Feb. 2009): 8-9. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 8 Mar. 2013.

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