Is Assisted Suicide or Euthanasia Murder?

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Assisted Suicide is a highly debated and controversial subject that has sparked global controversy. It is frequently linked to Euthanasia and entails deliberately inducing the death of terminally ill individuals, which may involve doctors, family members, or other willing parties.

After consulting The Merrian-Webster Dictionary and Thesaraus, I have discovered that the meaning and details concerning assisted suicide and euthanasia have strayed from their original context. It is noteworthy that Greece was where these practices originated. Initially, the Greeks regarded assisted suicide and euthanasia as a mere means of dying. However, in modern societies, such reasoning would typically be deemed unacceptable in the majority of countries. In fact, it would probably be seen as an indication of mental incapacity to merely terminate someone’s life.

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According to, assisted suicide or euthanasia is legal in various countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, Albania, Holland, Switzerland, Thailand and Oregon in the United States. A group of people from states that Rome and Greece during the 5th Century B.C. to the 1st Century B.C. did not value human life as much as modern cultures and societies do today.

In the past, abortions and assisted suicides were viewed similarly and were conducted without the complex legal procedures and illegal concerns we face today. During that time, there was a prevalent endorsement of choosing death over extended suffering, leading physicians to often provide the requested poisons to their patients. Further research revealed that voluntary suicide became less prevalent and began to be frowned upon during the Middle Ages and 1st century A.D.

In the 1800’s, New York implemented a law on December 10th, 1828, Ch.4, 1828 N.Y. Laws 19 which explicitly prohibited assisted suicide, displaying an increased recognition of the ethical transgression involved in aiding another person’s death. Moving forward to the early 1900’s, I encountered records concerning Dr. Haiselden who held the position of chief of staff at Chicago’s German-American Hospital in 1915. His decision to refrain from performing surgery on a severely deformed baby who was not thriving garnered significant attention and was supported by the parents.

One day later, the baby died, causing a ripple effect throughout the country and becoming a pivotal moment in history. In the subsequent years, multiple bills and appeals to legalize assisted suicide were put forth but ultimately denied. The “Patient’s Bill of Rights,” passed in 1973, according to Wikipedia Encyclopedia, solidified patients’ rights to accept or refuse medical treatment. Nevertheless, despite ongoing debate and controversy surrounding the topic, The Right to Die law was enacted in Arkansas, California, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas in 1977.

Dr. Jack Kevorkian became well-known in the 1990s for his controversial backing and execution of assisted suicide. He gained significant attention by advocating for people’s right to choose to end their own lives. In a 1998 segment of “60 Minutes,” Dr. Kevorkian showcased a video where he intentionally administered a deadly drug to Thomas Yourk, who was afflicted with Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Consequently, Dr. Kevorkian confronted potential murder accusations regarding his involvement in this assisted suicide.

The New York Times published an article titled “Dr. Kevorkian, assisted suicide advocate” which states that Dr. Kevorkian was sentenced to 10-25 years in prison for murder in 1999. He served 8 years and was released on parole in 2007 but is currently not allowed to practice medicine. Dr. Death, also known as Dr. Philip Nitschke, emerged as a new figure in Michigan in 2009.

A special interview aired on Nightline on September 29th, 2009 discussing the similar issues faced by Dr. Nitschke and Dr. Kevorkian.

According to ABC News Nightline’s Nick Watt, both Jack Kevorkian and Dr. Nitschke provide information on techniques for peaceful suicide through talks and a video. Dr. Nitschke emphasizes that this information is not limited to terminally ill individuals but applies to anyone who wishes to end their life. While Dr. Nitschke claims not to encourage suicide, a closer look at his interviews on Nightline’s website or YouTube may reveal contradictions in his statements. He supports the sale of a drug with instructions for self-killing and discusses a banned video demonstrating how to suffocate oneself with a plastic bag gracefully. When questioned about his religious beliefs, Dr. Nitschke declares that he is irreligious and dismisses biblical judgments, firmly believing in the righteousness of his actions.

This text explores the question of whether assisted suicide or euthanasia should be seen as murder in a religious context. From a religious perspective, helping someone end their own life may be viewed as a serious offense similar to homicide. Personally, I believe that any involvement in causing another person’s death, regardless of the circumstances or consent, is equivalent to committing murder. This belief aligns with the commandment “Thou shall not kill” mentioned in the Holy Bible, which emphasizes the value and importance of human life. Additionally, one could argue that natural death serves as a means for God to control population growth among humans, especially considering today’s issue of overpopulation compared to earlier times. While this final point may not directly pertain to assisted suicide, it does support the idea that intentionally ending someone’s life or assisting them in doing so might be deemed acceptable.

Sue Rodrigues, a prominent resident of British Columbia, Canada, raised the question of “Whose life is it?” She was well-known for her battle with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Due to her prolonged suffering and pain, she chose to seek assistance in ending her life. This information is discussed in the book Euthanasia & Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS). Additionally, an article on “The World’s Most Advanced Research and Laboratory Dedicated to ALS” offers further insight into ALS and its commonly recognized name.

The ALS Therapy Development Institute explains that ALS affects muscle function, resulting in symptoms like pain, muscle spasms, stiffness, and loss of control in the hands, arms, and legs. Furthermore, it leads to weakness, fatigue, and challenges with speaking and swallowing. ALS is one of several diseases that significantly impact daily life. It is important to emphasize that ALS cannot be self-induced.

The text suggests that individuals may consider committing the act of assisted suicide due to the intense pain and suffering it brings, which can make life unbearable. It also mentions that regardless of any laws prohibiting it, assisted suicide will occur due to various religious beliefs and human participation. The summary of the book “Assisted Suicide: Theory and practice in elective death” emphasizes that assisted suicide is gaining significance like abortion, as mentioned earlier.

Despite legal restrictions, there is a growing acceptance and endorsement of assisted suicide as a legitimate choice. This trend can be observed globally, including in the United States, where individuals are willing to challenge laws to alleviate the suffering of those with terminal illnesses. In my research, I have encountered compelling arguments that support the implementation of assisted suicide.

While some individuals have similar reasons for considering assisted suicide, such as enduring unbearable and incurable pain and suffering, others argue for personal autonomy in making decisions about their own lives. To gain insights on assisted suicide, ten anonymous residents from various assisted living facilities were interviewed.

During interviews with 10 individuals, a consensus emerged that aiding someone in dying is equivalent to committing murder, although they conveyed this belief using different terms. Additionally, all participants confirmed having a religious affiliation when asked, although their specific faith was not explored. However, when questioned about the influence of their religious background on their views regarding assisted suicide, all nine respondents answered positively. The single individual who was queried about assisted suicide argued for the right to determine the timing of one’s own death based on personal ownership over their life.

He expressed his support for assisted suicide and when I asked about his religious beliefs, he said he does not have any. In my research, specifically on page 7, I ultimately concluded that I am inclined towards advocating for the universal illegality of assisted suicide. I believe that people’s stance on this matter is heavily influenced by their religion and personal beliefs. According to my findings, approximately half of the population holds either supportive or opposing views on this topic. Additionally, I consider it an ongoing and controversial subject for discussions and debates.

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Is Assisted Suicide or Euthanasia Murder?. (2018, Feb 04). Retrieved from

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