OP-ED: Assisted Suicide, For or Against?

  • By: Ashwini Selvakumaran

  • The choice of Assisted Suicide occurs when a physician decides to end a patients life at their request because their suffering is reaching - essentially the breaking point. In its essence, I believe this is an issue pertaining to individual rights. 

  • For the majority of the community, assisted suicide carries negative connotations, associated with or even defined as a means of murder. Society believes in a moral duty to protect and preserve all life, this is understandable. Of course I understand the pain and sadness a family will be hit with as well. However, I believe it is not the community’s role to make a decision for one who is in a constant state of suffering. Patients are often subject to intense discomfort, afflicted with excruciatingly painful and terminal conditions that have left them incapable of performing everyday functions. In this situation the community does not discern the impact of prolonged suffering that this ill individual may feel. 

  • Each individual has the right to make informed decisions regarding one’s own body. In the US, this is only legal in a few states. In Canada however, Bill C-14 passed in 2016, decriminalizing assisted suicide. Allowing assisted dying respects a patient's right to choose. The Supreme Court struck down the laws forbidding physician assisted dying because they unfairly restricted individual choice. 

  • Access to aid in dying will give Canadians further control over their care and, ultimately, their lives. Thus, it is my belief that when people ask for assistance in exercising this right, it only correct to respect their wishes. 



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