Whether or not to Legalize Physician-Assisted Suicide

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Whetheror not to Legalize Physician-Assisted Suicide

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Whetheror not to Legalize Physician-Assisted Suicide

Itis not right to pass a law that permits physician-assisted suicide inthe state of New Jersey. Although morality can be viewed at differentangles, it is morally incorrect to advise or even encourage a personto end their life. Different theories on morality comply with thisstand and most of them, for example, Aquinas’ encourage thepresence of virtue as a primary step towards the achievement ofhappiness (Parry, 2014). I will use Aquinas’ theory of morality toindicate that it is morally wrong to allow Physician AssistedSuicide. The theory by Aquinas provides that the goodness or badnessof an act depend on whether it contributes to or prevents us from ourproper human end (Parry, 2014). He then goes on to equate theavailability of moral virtue in an individual’s action to theexistence of happiness in the person (Parry, 2014). Having consideredthe act of physician-assisted suicide as a moral wrong, I, therefore,disapprove the passing of the law that promotes the act.

Passingthe law deters individuals from their proper human end. Theoccurrence of death is a natural phenomenon, and it should be allowedto exist in such a manner. The act leads to an intentionalstimulation of the process of death. It makes an individual thinkthat they have an approval or support of another human being, thusencouraging them to terminate their life. As stated by Calahan(1992, pg. 52), it is morally wrong for an individual to hand overhis life and fate to another, however good the consequences may seemto be. Such is, therefore, an improper way of reaching a rightfulhuman end. According to Aquinas, an action that prevents anindividual from attaining a suitable end is termed as bad, and so isthe law.

Accordingto Warren (1973, Pg. 61), putting an end to the life of a fetus canonly be viewed as morally right if such a decision is undertaken toprevent the “potential person” from a great deal of potentialsuffering. I agree that both abortion and euthanasia can be used whensuch a condition occurs. According to my view, euthanasia is a morelimited practice as it involves a patient who is in great pain andsuffers from a terminal illness. Such a condition is ethicallyjustifiable based on Aquinas’ theory, as it prevents the individualfrom having a more painful ending. In physician-assisted suicide,there could be a possibility that if the process is avoided, theperson may get a solution, other than suicide, to his or her problem. Most individuals who end up committing suicide often suffer frompsychological problems, and with proper treatment and othertherapeutic processes, the person’s condition may be altered orcured. It would, therefore, be morally incorrect if the person hadbeen allowed to die through physician-assisted suicide.

Toconclude, I propose that New Jersey should not pass the law onphysician-assisted suicide. Such a law defies the morals of life, anddemeans the value of an individual’s life. The law inhibits aproper human end and is, therefore, bad as supported by Aquinas’theory of morality. It is also morally incorrect for a person to endtheir life or to determine the fate of their life.


Callahan,D. (1992). When Self-Determination Runs Amok. TheHastings Center Report,22(2),52. doi:10.2307/3562566

Parry,R. (2014, August). Ancient Ethical Theory. Retrieved March 25, 2017,from https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-ancient/#4

Warren,M. A. (1973). On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion. Monist,57(1),61. doi:10.5840/monist197357133