Death as a Salesman Documentary and Book

Why We Shouldn’t Legalize Assisting Suicide

What's Wrong with Making Assisted Suicide Legal?
Content Provided by National Right to Life

Part I: Suicide and Mental Illness

Under the banners of compassion and autonomy, some are calling for legal recognition of a “right to suicide” and societal acceptance of “physician-assisted suicide.” Suicide proponents evoke the image of someone facing unendurable suffering who calmly and rationally decides death is better than life in such a state. They argue that society should respect and defer to the freedom of choice such people exercise in asking to be killed.

Part II: Pain Control
Proponents of euthanasia argue that “mercy-killing” is necessary because patients, particularly those with terminal illness, experience uncontrollable pain. They argue that the only way to alleviate the pain is to eliminate the patient. But is there a better way?
Part III: What About the Terminally Ill?
Proponents of physician-assisted suicide frequently begin by advocating its legalization for those who are terminally ill, although they have moved far beyond that category.
Part IV: The Need for Civil Remedies to Prevent Assisting Suicide
On May 2, 1994, a Michigan jury acquitted Jack Kevorkian of charges related to his publicly proclaimed assistance in the suicide of Thomas Hyde. The verdict points up the way in which the pathos of individual cases often leads criminal case juries to react emotionally, failing to give considerate attention to the general effects on older people and people with disabilities of signaling societal acceptance of death as the solution to human problems.


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