Assisted Suicide: To Live Or Not To Live

This article has sat in my documents for three weeks now. For some reason I kept going back and forth whether to publish it or not. One of society’s biggest taboos.

A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with some friends about the assisted suicide of this woman in California, she was suffering from ALS and couldn’t take the pain any longer and with the help of a doctor and surrounded by family and friends she decided to end her own life. Her illness was and is incurable and extremely painful.

My friends quickly went on to judge and criticize her act. They went on to say all the religious reasons why her act was foolish and then went on to argue the pain and suffering she had caused her family by committing suicide. Long story short, they labeled it a selfish and cowardice act.

As I heard their arguments I couldn’t help but think, is it a selfish and cowardice crime? I don’t fully believe that.

Wouldn’t it had been selfish of her family to want her to stay alive only so she could suffer a terrible agony?

Cowardice act? Death is the number one fear in people’s minds (at least of the majority). If you’ve ever felt so bad, sad, depressed, in pain and hopeless that you’ve wanted to commit suicide then you probably noticed that it is definitely not an easy decision to make. It’s not easy to decide to end your own life; I think that for most of us it be easier to kill someone than to kill ourselves.

I got myself thinking of people who have committed suicide and the only thing that I could come across in my mind is that I have absolutely no idea whatsoever of the hell they were going through. I can only imagine and try to compare it to the horrible emotional and psychological agony caused by depression.

Has it crossed my mind to commit suicide? Hasn’t it ever crossed yours? I might be wrong on this one, but I think that it has crossed most of our minds somewhere in time and we’ve realized how it is not an easy decision to make.

In no way am I trying to glamorize or encourage suicide, but to try to understand it from another perspective.

Assisted suicide is still taboo is our society and as a society we hold great power over it. How can we rule so heavily upon someone’s life and death? How can we judge whether a person can take his or her own life?

Are we not the owners of our own life?

I don’t want to get into religion with this, because religion does play a huge role in it. Claiming that your life doesn’t belong to you because it belongs to a Higher power, then does it mean that society is the guard dog of God and they get to decide whether you’re allowed to commit suicide or not? So this means that people’s personal religious believes should dictate other people’s lives and death? How is that different to extreme religious groups?

That woman from California got to enjoy a weekend surrounded by the people that she loved, she got to openly say what she was going to do, say goodbye and with the help of a doctor she ended her life in a painless way surrounded by love.

If it hadn’t been legal she would have had to endure years of agony. Would that had been fair? Just because it goes against our religious and personal believes?

We have no way of knowing what life will throw at each one of us. Some of us might take the easy road out and die in a car crash, but others might endure a long and painful illness, be it physical or mental.

We never know when we’ll find ourselves on the other side of the road. Do we really want to give the world the power over such a PERSONAL decision?

I still find myself at odds whether it goes against the rules imposed by the universe or a Higher power. Nevertheless, I do find myself unable to judge those who have taken that road and I certainly wouldn’t want to be responsible for denying someone the possibility of an assisted suicide.

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