Freedom of Choice, Freedom of expression, Freedom of religion. We live in a day and age when we have the ability to decide, to pick and choose. What does one do when a right, a privilege, a freedom is not always respected. Assisted Suicide has continued to be on the debating grounds. There are those that believe assisted suicide is unconstitutional and those akin to myself that believe it is everyone’s individual right of choice. The constitution however does not have a provision that allows for assisted suicides, and there have been fights in the Supreme Court regarding such decisions. Though assisted suicide is not specified one may argue that it in fact falls under due process. The case of Cruzan vs. Director, Missouri Department of Health established that the due process clause protects one’s ability to refuse medical treatment, even if this refusal would cause the person to die(“Is There a Constitutional Right to Physician-assisted Suicide?,” ) . In this case wouldn’t one be able to argue that this is a method of assisted suicide? By giving the individual the opportunity to refuse life sustaining treatment that will ultimately cause their death.
No one would argue that it is not difficult to watch a loved one suffer from an incurable disease. There could be little argument that this subject could vary based on if you were directly affected by its decisions. It becomes easy for one to see how there could be extreme grey areas, and why lines are continually drawn regarding what does and does not fit under assisted suicide. Society continues to try and push and morph the rules and regulations. Though who wants to see unnecessary suffering? Whom wants to suffer themselves unnecessarily if given a choice?
With a growing aging population one must consider the impact and effects of terminal illnesses on the families that are left to watch their loved ones suffer, without the ability to stop their pain or discomfort. Why would we choose to make people suffer if regardless the end result will be the same? The main difference is that with assisted suicide there is a choice. There is the ability to decide something that was not always an option. No more suffering, no pain, the ability to end things on one’s own terms and not have to have ones family and friends watch as they wither away.
On the other hand though it could be argued that who makes us the Supreme Being to choose life or death? Regardless taking another person’s life has always been titled murder. Truth, is this is a decision that once made and executed; minds cannot be changed and the damage cannot be undone. As time goes on there are more and more people that agree with the ability to have assisted suicide deaths. Though there will never be a 100% consensus, it becomes necessary to hear the needs of those that reach out and seek assisted suicides. Due to the Supreme Court decisions made in 1997 it was further affirmed that the government’s interest far outweighs that of the individual. This made clear that the refusal of life saving medical treatment is far different than asking a doctor to aid in ending one’s life (“Is There a Constitutional Right to Physician-assisted Suicide?”).
Varying States have been able to enact laws that protect ones right to die, though there are those that have chosen not to take the same position on the matter. Literature continues to debate and recant the varying viewpoints. Lines will continue to be drawn, questions and varying viewpoints will continue. There will always be a question of whether or not one side is right over the other. As the debate continues and States continue to contemplate their stance on the issues, one cannot forget that though the subject is very public this is a rather private matter, one that though we may not see and hear of it still goes on regardless of whom feels it is right or wrong. Regardless we should all have the ability to choose our destiny.