I have always had my opinion on the debate whether terminally ill patients need to have I always had my opinion on the debate whether terminally ill patients need to have the right to choose when to die. My strong opinion is that they should. It is their own life and their choice, and they can end their suffering in time when they deem fit. It is true this might be a blow to their relatives and their loved ones but ultimately, it still stands to be their decision to make. Also, I am a strong proponent of doctor-assisted suicide. I think there are particular physical and mental limitations of a person’s body, and for this reason it shouldn’t be upon another person to decide what happens to them. The one suffering should be allowed to decide the time when those limitations have been reached, and the choice to end their lives is, for this reason is valid according to them. I have gone through many articles as well as stories on both sides of the debate, and clearly many have voiced their opinions supporting the fact that terminally ill people ought to be able to make a choice on when to end their lives. In fact, the assisted dying bill is in motion. Based on the arguments on both the left and right wing, I will conclude that terminally ill people should have the right to choose when to die.
I have read many articles and stories that are directly related to this debate. I have one particular reading that affected my life and strengthened my opinions regarding this debate. The story is about Britany Maynard, a story that sparked heated debate regarding doctor-assisted suicide, and whether seriously ill patients have a right to terminate their lives by own choice. The story I read occurred on November 2014, in which a woman (Britany Maynard) aged 29 years made the choice to end her own life, on a Saturday, through a suicide assisted by a doctor. The story described that Britany Maynard – an advocate for Compassion & Choices which is a nonprofit corporation supporting the movement of the right to die as well as the right to die with Dignity Act of 1997, was on the verge of stage four brain cancer. My research on the 1997 act proved that the law permits people suffering from a terminal illness to end their lives voluntarily with the help of lethal medication.
This story touched me as I read through the activities of her life till her last day. Maynard had been positively diagnosed with Brain cancer in Jan. 1 2014 and had been informed later on in April same year that she had only six months to live. Consequently, she moved to Oregon from California where she was allowed by law to choose to kill herself at a time of her own choosing. I admired her dedication despite her knowing her destiny. It was an act dedication that she spearheaded the Compassion & Choice campaign to increase awareness of the movement on the right-to-die. This is what she told the public, “My glioblastoma will kill me but that is out of my control,” she continued, “I’ve shared with a number of experts on how I would die from it. It’s a terrible way to die. For this reason being able to choose to go with dignity is less terrifying” (para. 4).
She suffered before her death, with increasingly long and frequent seizures, neck pain and severe headache, and symptoms of stroke. She mentioned that her choice to die was non-suicidal (according to her companions at the campaign) – “I’m not killing myself. Cancer is killing me” (para. 6). In terminal situations such as Maynard’s, people should have the right to choose when to die.
Adriana Scott. “Should Terminally Ill Patients Have a Right to Die?” US News. U.S.News & World Report, 4 Nov. 2014. Web. 28 Jan. 2015. <http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2014/11/04/should-brittany-maynard-have-had-the-right-to-doctor-assisted-suicide>.