BP9 Terminally Ill Patients and Aid-In-Dying Laws

“Death with dignity” is a movement that has supporters working to legalize aid-in-dying in America. The goal is to allow terminally ill patients the right to die without suffering in their final days or weeks. It is currently legal in five states. Research shows that those who use these laws don’t do it for the pain. Instead they prefer having control of how they exit the world, rather than waiting around and not knowing when the end might be. The biggest fears instead of pain were fear of losing autonomy, being less able to enjoy life and activities, loss of dignity, and fear of losing control of bodily functions. Those who support the movement want “to have the option to control their own body and control their own life.”

The big question with assisted suicide or aid-in-dying is whether these actions are morally right. Personally, I believe assisted suicide should be legal across the entire U.S. and not in just five states. Anyone who is terminally ill should be able to leave this world in a manner that best pleases him or her. It’s much easier to say your final goodbyes to loved ones instead of waiting for whatever disease or sickness to run its course. Let’s take a look at what Kant’s categorical imperative, and more specifically the universal law formulation. Kant’s categorical imperative is used to determine whether an action is a duty or rational. The universal law formulation evaluates if an action is universalizable. If everyone who was terminally ill decided to utilize aid-in-dying laws, would that action be self-defeating? No it wouldn’t and therefore the act is rational. If it is rational and used by those who truly need it, then why is it illegal in 45 states?




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