Assisted Suicide Research Paper Thesis

One of the most contentious legal and public issues of modern society is the permission of assisted suicide and euthanasia. (Gorsuch, 599) General public, physicians, religious leaders, lawyers in the whole world are all debating over the issue of assisted suicide.
“Assisting suicide is a practice of aiding another in taking his or her life. Euthanasia is a practice of intentionally killing another person motivated by feelings of compassion or mercy.” (Gorsuch, 599)
“Assisted suicide involves someone who has suicidal motives, intends to die, does something to cause his or her death, and is noncoerced in deciding to kill himself. However, in contrast to “normal” suicides, an assisted suicide requires aid from a physician, a relative, or friend of the person wanting to commit suicide. The enabler can assist the suicidal person in any number of ways: by supplying information on the most effective ways of committing suicide, purchasing a weapon, providing a lethal dose of pills or poison, giving the suicidal person encouragement to carry out the lethal deed, or helping in the actual act of killing (e.g., by helping the person take the pills, pull the trigger of a gun, close the garage doors, or turn on the gas). Also in contrast to suicide, an act of assisted suicide is an illegal act in many jurisdictions, punishable by fines and/or short-term imprisonment.” (Donnelly, 251)
Starting from 1930s the issue of positive euthanasia was discussed actively both in the Great Britain and the United States.
Switzerland made assisted suicide legal in 1937, but only under condition that “the person who assists has no personal motive or gain”. (Smith, 31)
Much later in 1993, assisted suicide was decriminalized by the Netherlands, but only in regards to voluntary euthanasia (physician-assisted suicide) for the terminally ill patients. The physician-assisted suicide was legalized in this country in 2002.
Besides these two European countries, another country – Belgium has did a legalization of assisted suicide in 2002 for certain patients as well.
The famous debatable case of Dr. Jack Kevorkian is connected with the term “assisted suicide”. This case of assisting suicide and showing it on national TV has happened in the 1990s. It has made burst of emotions among the public. Kevorkian assisted people “to commit suicide. This story became the object of the US state law forbidding such activity”. (Smith, 31)

In this paper I would like to express my position on assisted suicide and euthanasia and also indicate some criticism against it.

Arguments for assisted suicide
I support a physician-assisted suicide and especially euthanasia, because first of all it’s needed only for very small group of terminally ill patients. These people are in uncontrollable awful pain and there is no other solution for them as there is no cure. Assisting suicides in such cases is showing mercy to suffering people.
Of course it’s a quite controversial issue from religious point of view. But church tells us to make charitable acts and be kind to your neighbour, so maybe euthanasia should be considered as a charitable act.
As a positive trend that leads to decreasing of the patients that needs a physician-assisted suicide is the development of new quality of pain management.
Although, in my opinion, there should not be any opportunity to use physician-assisted suicide for such groups as “terminally ill patients who are not in pain, patients with nonterminal diseases, or psychiatric patients.” (Gorsuch, 599)

Criticism of assisted suicide
There are many people who are strictly against any possibility of assisted suicide, due to various reasons and this debate constantly goes on.
One of the most controversial issues is the guidelines for physicians who assist suicide.
“The availability and the sanction of physician-assisted suicide would forever change the relationship between any suicidal person and his helpers. It would alter the family and friends’ reactions to the suicidal person as well as the nature of any psychotherapy that he might undertake.” (Guglielmo, 45)
As a huge contra argument of assisted suicide we should mention the substantial breakthroughs in the areas of treating pain and other distressing symptoms of illness and injury. (Smith, 31)
People have much more chances not to die in agony nowadays and there is a public opinion that some medical professionals simply don’t do a good enough job of it. Unfortunately the majority of the patients and their families are insufficiently educated about the medical opportunities that may be provided.
There is another aspect that I would like to bring in order to demonstrate the contra argument of assisted suicide. There is a perception that assisting suicide means being compassionate to the person with a terminal illness. But what about the life value, future prospects, etc?
Some researches insist that assisted suicide is not an answer. We should not pay our attention to this issue; on the contrary we should focus on “improving care and suicide prevention to help the suicidal ill and disabled overcome the desire to end their lives”. (Gorsuch, 599)
Life is basic good and a sacred thing. The major principle of life as a sacred thing is that people should to remain alive always and under all circumstances. The value of human life is immeasurable. There are certain groups of people like members of religious orders and hospice organizations that are able to provide loving care to persons who exist only physically.
Also, there is such a common thing as ethics of suicide prevention and it should be discussed here as well. There are many reasons for preventing suicide and in general public opinion, bystanders are morally obliged to prevent a suicide from realizing his intentions. So, from this point of view, how should a doctor that assists suicide be perceived by society?
The arguments that are justifying “the coercive prevention of the suicide could be grouped into three categories: psychological, epistemological, and ethical arguments.” (Donelly, 196)
Besides other aspects, there is also an issue of legal liability dilemma for the person involved in assisting suicide, it’s a very controversial issue. According to Novak, “A physician who enables the act of self-killing to be done runs the risk of a relatively mild legal penalty or, in some jurisdictions, no legal penalty at at all. But a physician who kills a patient at the patient’s request, even for reasons of mercy, runs the risk of being prosecuted for murder or manslaughter”.

October 23, 2014 |Free Essay Sample Papers|Tags: Assisted Suicide

Developing An Assisted Suicide Essay

Assisted suicide is a controversial issue that isn’t as heated as it once was in the last decade—the 2000s—but still lends itself to some rather heated discussion. The reason for the lack of mainstream interest and therefore attention on assisted suicide is that there has been no major catalyst even in recent times.

Writing an essay on assisted suicide requires a good deal of research and knowing what your thesis will be about the subject. If your objective is to defend a particular point on assisted suicide, you should pick a side; pick a topic within assisted suicide, and go to work on research and writing.

Here are the steps to getting started:

  • Ask questions and answer them.
  • Research.
  • Write.

We’ll just go into the first two as writing is self-explanatory. You want a strong introduction and a stronger closing with your points and facts being the body of your essay. Including proper formatting that the instructor assigns and you have the fundamentals for the writing portion of the essay.

Ask Questions, Answer Them

To develop your thesis statement—the main rallying point your essay will ride on—you’ll need to reflect on the subject overall and narrow it to a few topics. You can narrow assisted suicide by asking questions. A few questions that could be asked are:

  • What are the moral concerns about assisted suicide?
  • What are legal concerns and precedents on assisted suicide? Where is assisted suicide legal?
  • What is the general opinion on assisted suicide?
  • What position are health care professionals and hospitals put in concerning assisted suicide?
  • What are some of the reasons to consider assisted suicide?

Although many of these aren’t the strong questions that will give insightful reflection, they are decent building blocks that you could work with or give you an idea of the direction you should head in with the questions.

Answer your question and you’ll find your thesis statement.

As stated, your essay will ride on the thesis statement.


Research is extremely important for any essay whether it’s an argumentative one, a thesis essay, or what have you. If you’re unsure as to what you should research about assisted suicide, research everything.

  • The history
  • The law
  • Published accounts in the news
  • Psychological analysis

Research will give your thesis legs to stand on, so get as much information as possible.

One thought on “Assisted Suicide Research Paper Thesis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *