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Point/Counterpoint: Assisted Suicide

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Two staff writers share their opinion on whether or not terminally ill people should get to choose how they die: assisted suicide.

Maleeha Ahmad

For Assisted Suicide

Imagine that one of your loved ones is suffering from something horrible and they can’t do anything about it. I can’t even begin to fathom anything more terrifying. If they sincerely want to die, I feel it’s their decision, not anyone else’s. I don’t believe anyone, especially the government, should be able to stop them from putting both themselves and their loved ones out of misery. My mentality for assisted suicide is a bit like that of the ancient Greeks. Suicide was viewed as an ultimate solution. An ultimate end.

Assisted suicide is not a decision that’s made frivolously; it’s made after sincere thought and a realization that there is no way out. No one deserves to die a painful death and assisted suicide offers people a way to circumvent the horrors of terminal illness. Everyone deserves to be happy, no matter their circumstances or how they do it.

I understand that faith is part of the reason that assisted suicide is such a controversial topic. People wait around for medical miracles but not everyone has the patience to do that. It’s a horrifying thought, but conditions can progress to a point where even the thought of a miracle can’t tame the pain. It’s better, in my opinion, to take an active role in bettering your situation.

My thinking may be shallow, but a life is one’s own and should be lived accordingly; assisted suicide is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength and practicality. I will never say that people should seek assisted suicide if they have a problem, but I do think that if the decision is mutual between the loved ones and the person, there shouldn’t be anything to stop them, including the government.

Syeda Rizvi

Against Assisted Suicide

All my life I’ve been told not to give up. Whether it be riding a bike or solving a difficult math problem, my parents have encouraged me to keep at it until I’ve succeeded. Why should it be any different for something as important as my life?

Assisted suicide is something I completely disagree with. I understand that it helps people who have terminal illnesses or who are constantly suffering because of their disease, but that doesn’t justify taking their own life. Assisted suicide shows that the person has lost all faith and as a person of faith, that saddens me. I think patients are more likely to choose assisted suicide if they see that it’s available to them. Right after being diagnosed with a terminal illness, they’ll think of assisted suicide rather than trying their best to cope with it. Instead of making this legal, we should try to come up with ways to encourage patients to live.

Also, medical miracles are real. They might be one in a million but who knows who that one person is. In my mind, no one should be so discouraged that it seems to them that they have nothing left to live for.

People may think I only feel this way because I haven’t had any personal experience pertaining to this subject. Actually, I’ve witnessed countless people in my community diagnosed with cancer and none of them thought about giving up. Although the odds were against most of them, they all fought and many made it out alive. I think no matter what life throws at you, it’s your responsibility to take it and deal with it the best you can. Hope is a powerful thing and assisted suicide takes that away from people.

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