Cheating fate

Emilee Jacobson, writer

Physician- assisted suicide will be legal in not five, but six states, if granted court approval in Montana. Individuals must have a prognosis of 6-months or less to in order to be granted, in the bluntest form, death. There are misconceptions about Euthanasia’s purpose. Does it give patients more time? Relieve their pain? In a sense it might, but by doing so, it ends someone’s entire being. It’s precisely what it’s called: suicide.

Suicide is suicide. If we promote mentally ill patients to seek out help, why don’t we do the same for the terminally ill? If we allow terminal patients to use this as a refuge, why is it that we agonize over a young teen’s choice to end their life?

In a way, it’s cheating fate. I’m not ignorant, I know this decision would never be easy.  But, I do believe that it isn’t a decision to be made by an individual in a time of distress. As someone who has watched family members and close friends pass away from an illness after fighting their hardest battle, I find assisted suicide to be not only unfair, but morally incorrect.

There are people dying and choosing to live, and there are others who choose to end the fight all together, letting their prognosis truly take control of them. There are people counting down the days, fighting just to make it to their son’s graduation. There are people who don’t let the word “terminal” control them. There are people who live six years longer than the doctor’s prognosis.

An ill patient given the choice between living or dying adds an entirely new level of stress to an almost unbearable situation.  If assisted-suicide were to be brought about as an easily acquired option, it would have the ability to provide an unneeded sense of pressure to a terminally ill patient’s life. Whether it be family or the medical community, a patient may feel pressured to accommodate others by ending their journey earlier than necessary. One may feel like a financial and emotional burden to those around them and make an impulsive decision in the hope of saving others.

Besides the pressure from loved ones, insurance companies and employees who handle financials have the potential to make inappropriate advisements in a situation that is not their own. Patients with financial disadvantages could be pressured to avoid the hefty medical bills by acknowledging the idea of surviving their illness all together. I truly worry that with the widespread acceptance of this option, patients will be pressured into decisions they’re not qualified to make. Death isn’t something that’s meant to be rushed into, and definitely not something that should be decided with the mentality of saving others.

The day of your death shouldn’t be chosen. We believe with the same mentality that we shouldn’t abruptly drop a pin on a map and move wherever it ends up. Life is supposed to end when it’s supposed to, we will never truly know that date, despite the doctor’s prognosis. With hope and guidance, science is not necessarily a determining factor of death. An individual has the power to determine it themselves with the conscious belief that they can look at mortality in the face and defeat it. It is possible to fight. I’ve witnessed it. Suffering exists, but so do miracles. Have we lost all our belief in them?