Assisted suicide is way to maintain control of ones own life

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By: Neris Pleitez

There are many people that have terminal disease and some of them either decide to keep fighting and stay alive while others question the idea of it. With the option of assisted suicide in some areas, they begin to think that’s the answer and sometime opt with ending their life through a prescribed drug. some patients go through the process of getting the lethal from a doctor and take it, while some on the other hand just get it to have the option of being able to end their life their own way. Washington is one of the few states in the U.S. that allows physician assisted suicide, and according to HealthDay News, between March of 2009 to December of 2011, there was a study at the clinic, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance that has a Death by Dignity program for terminal cancer patients.[1] In this study 114 patients enquired about the program and only 40 passed the screening and receive a prescription. All the 40 patients died, 24 of them died soon after receiving the medication, while others lived on while still having it in their possession till they passed away. A patient by the name of Ethan Remmel was one of the 40 patients and in his blog he posted, “So I have the medication now. It is safely locked up. I have not decided if or when I will use it, but it gives me great relief to know that I have some control over my dying process.”[2] He was an associate professor at Western Washington center and was a patient diagnosed with terminal colon cancer and did not have long to live, he thought of this not as suicide but a way to make his decision on something that he did not have before. He would have issues teaching as he would sometimes not make sense during his lectures. The pain he was bearing and the fatigue that was cause because of the cancer and his treatment was taking its toll on him. The pain killers he would use gave him side effects such as making him constipated and mentally loopy.  On his last blog post he said “You’ll just have to trust that my quality of life has become unacceptable to me and that I am a reasonable person”[2]. He could have proceeded taking whatever medication he was given to stay alive longer but he no longer felt it was the life he wanted. Felling the pain and fatigue all the time he felt the time to take the medication was coming was near and thought it was best to end his life himself rather than letting the sickness do it for him. Which many people on his very similar situation feel they should have but can’t due to the laws for assisted suicide. He was one of the few thousands of patients that could die by his own hand rather than just waiting for his time to come, and in some cases, that should be a clear option to anyone who may have felt the same way he did. Not having control of one’s own life is something many people fear but this may let people handle their situations differently and help them feel as if that life was always theirs.

 

[1] (HelthDay News, 2013)

[2] (Remmel, 2011)

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