13 August 2018
Specific Purpose: I am going to persuade my classmates that assisted suicide should be legal in Michigan.
Thesis: Allowing the option of assisted suicide is the right thing to do.
A. There are two questions that come to my mind:
1. If we put down animals when they are suffering and dying, why would we not offer the same level of compassion for our own kind?
2. Why is it that Patients may die by refusing ventilators, dialysis or other life-sustaining medical treatment, but when there is no life sustaining treatment left to give them, they have no option to end their suffering?
B. Put yourself in a dying person’s shoe, if it were you, would you want to die slowly, and miserably?
1. I think when everyone truly thinks about that question the answer will be No. No one wants to suffer for weeks, or months or years even until their disease has taken every last part of them who made them who they are, before finally taking their last breath.
2. No one wants to die after suffering unbearable agony for any length of time, and as Rehm quoted her best friend in the New York Times “I am the only one who can define when my suffering has become unbearable.” (qtd. In Rehm)
A. Some people will counter that passing this will cause people to think that human lives are worthless or that it will be abused, and everyone will do it.
1. (see graph) In Oregon the graph shows that plenty of patients qualified, and were written the scripts, but not all of them, sometimes not even half of them actually used the assisted suicide option.
2. If proper guidelines are set and abided by then it will not be abused. According to Dr. David Orentlicher, this happens secretly anyway, and is quoted in Breslow’s article saying, “There is good reason to think that people … are at greater risk when aid in dying is relegated to the secret and unregulated underground than when it is brought into the open and regulated strictly.” (qtd. In Breslow)
B. Now, back to those first two questions, why do we put animals down to end their suffering but don’t show humans that same compassion?
1. We put them down because we believe it’s the right thing to do, to end their agony, and so that they can die peacefully with the ones that love them.
2. Yet we think a person wanting to do this devalues our lives, and that simply is not the case. If anything, it helps their loved ones remember them as they always have been, before the terminal illness took every ounce of who they are.