The Issues Of Suicide And Suicide Prevention, Part III

assisted suicideCoping with death is a very hard and individual problem; it has a wide spectrum of backgrounds, emotional, psychological, medical, ethical or social, etc. That is why there are many opponents of euthanasia; a lot of people consider it to be not suicide, but homicide, they think that a human, especially a doctor, has no right to take life from another human.

There are some obvious advantages and reasons, which may speak in favor of assisted suicide. For terminally ill people the process of dying can be very long, hard and very painful. Such lethal diseases, like leukemia or some types of cancer may cause terrible suffer. And, according to Hippocrates oath, doctors must do everything to relieve their patients from pain, not to prolong it. Besides, every one of us has a right to live and has a right to die, a right to control own death, so, a person must not be forced to live. In cases of lethal sicknesses people are frequently paralyzed and disabled, they do really need somebody else’s help to receive a peaceful death with dignity, not to wait for horrible end in pain.

But on the other hand assisted suicide goes into deep controversy with the canons of religion and our human nature. Many people used to think that doctors must do everything they can to save a patient, to ease the pain and to give hope, not to kill. Besides, there is always a probability of mistaken diagnosis and, that is more significant, a mistaken prognosis of the way the sickness is going to develop. That is why euthanasia can be taken as rather impulsive decision, because the hope, impulses and reactions to continue own existence always remain in our bodies down to the molecular level in every cell. Recent medical achievements, new palliative care medicines are very effective. They preserve quality of life; allow maximal elimination of pain and keeping a terminally ill person more or less away of hard suffering till the last minutes. And there are cases from medical practice, when incredible will to live and unbreakable desire to survive could make miracles and rescue a patient from the arms of death.

The most ardent opponents consider euthanasia along with abortion to be murders, which require legal persecution and punishment. They compare it with pushing a person, standing on the edge of a skyscraper with determination to jump down, and such acts are being carried out by doctors, whose devotion is to help, to save, not to push. They demand to strictly prohibit assisted suicide.

It is not easy to say, who is right and who is wrong in such a public discussion, because every side has own reasons and common sense. Practice shows that a great number of terminally ill people require assisted suicide in the US, and in such countries like the Netherlands and Australia euthanasia is legalized. In any way, all the participants of particular cases of euthanasia must understand whole the responsibility they take facing their close people, or the society in general.

People die every day, but overwhelming majority of them truly does not want to die. And, as we can not avoid natural deaths and fatalities, it becomes highly humanistic and ethical to do what it takes in order to change minds of suicidal people in their decision to give up their lives, to open their minds and hearts and to give them hope, to show the way to light, to prove that life is beautiful and is really worth living, because sun always appears after long rainy days.

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