Recently, the Canadian government has introduced assisted suicide. In this new legislation, people who are seriously suffering from incurable illnesses are allowed to ask the end of their lives with an assistant of medical practitioners.
The Atlantic: Legalizing Assisted Suicide in Canada
Assisted suicide is to make the life of a human terminate artificially by other persons. Therefore, it is difficult to judge its appropriateness. In Canada, the majority of citizens support this law. But there seem emotional oppositions regarding this issue.
In some states in the US and some other countries, assisted suicide has been legalized. In this article, Japan is included in these countries in which assisted suicide is permitted. However, it is not correct, as far as I know. In Japan, making a patients die with some medications is not allowed in clinical practice. There are a couple of trial cases in which medical practitioners assisted a suicide of a patient. In these cases, the court stated that assisted suicide was not deemed as illegal in some particular conditions. However, these verdicts express only some exemption of punishment in cases assisting suicide was performed. No legal or practical procedure to conduct an assisted suicide in Japan.
One of the reasons to support assisted suicide is to maintain the autonomy and dignity of each human. In addition, if assisted suicide is not permitted, patients can rely on illegal or cruel methods to take their life. It is no good for not only the patients but also the whole society. Clarifying the procedure of assisted suicide will be helpful to exclude the cases in which the patient’s life is potentially saved.
On the other hand, some people are worrying about the risk that assisted suicide will be abusively conducted. In general, maintaining the status of a seriously ill patient is costly. It is possible that family, hospital, and government are willing to shorten the life of such patients with encouraging them to take assisted suicide. It is a horrible estimation, but not fantastic.
I support the idea of assisted suicide. However, the indication of assisted suicide should cautiously be treated. Patients’ physical and mental status has to be examined in detail.