People should be free to control their life and death.

In examining the physician-assisted suicide controversy, I considered the ethical issues that come forward in regards to the rights of an individual who is requesting assistance to end their life, versus the rights of society to determine such activity illegal.

My view regarding physician assisted suicide is that as long as a person is deemed competent, he or she should be allowed to determine if they would like to end their life. I also support the idea that if a patient seeks their physicians assistance, the physician should be allowed to help that patient. Under the current law, patients who want to die can either commit suicide on their own, or if competent can refuse all treatment necessary that will prolong their life, but a patient is not given the choice as to when they want to end their life. This form of suicide refers to the physician providing the means for death, most often with a prescription. The patient will ultimately administer the lethal medication, when they are ready to end their suffering, making the decision ultimately theirs, not the physicians. For people who are suffering from terminal illnesses an early death avoids months and maybe years of painful suffering.

There are many people who feel that life is sacred and that if assisted suicide is legalized they fear the potential of abuse, such as family pressures, and lack of health insurance benefits. Society fears that when a person makes the decision to end their life it could be a pressured decision. This may be true, but there are many things that are legal, such as drinking alcohol, that people abuse often times because of life's pressures. We cannot prevent abuse of a system. But if legislation were drafted correctly, such as laws being put forth to help regulate physician assisted suicide, come of the issues that come up could be avoided. Legislature could regulate physician assisted suicide by putting forth consequences when the system is abused, like those laws in regards to using & selling drugs, abusing alcohol, illegal abortions and any other behavior that is not within the norms of society.