PAS takes away a fighting chance


Freshman Kyra Woomer

Kyra Woomer, Student Contributor

EDITOR’S NOTE: Freshmen in Mr. Naylor’s ninth grade honors English class recently read an article by Rob Wright titled “Why Death With Dignity in the U.S. Remains the Holy Grail.” The article looks at the controversial subject of Physician Assisted Suicide from many different angles. The students were then asked to compose an opinion piece expressing their feelings on whether or not Physician Assisted Suicide should be legalized in all 50 states in the USA (currently it is allowed in five states). What follows are some of the top student responses, both in favor of and opposing Physician Assisted Suicide.

We have all witnessed someone become so sick that you can tell how much they suffer. It doesn’t matter if they are close to you or not, but if you have a heart you want to do anything in the world to make that pain that they are feeling go away.

We do it with pets all the time. We put them down when we know it can’t get better and we just can’t bear to see them like that. Some people have chosen to end their lives in a similar way, because they were in pain and they could see it hurting their family. Only in these five states, Oregon, New Mexico, Montana, Vermont and Washington,is it actually legal to make the choice of Physician Assisted Suicide (PAS), and many are fighting to make it legal in all 50 states.

I believe that PAS should not be legalized in all 50 states. There are many ways that PAS could go wrong.

Above all, I believe PAS should not be legalized because human lives are worth something.

Above all, I believe PAS should not be legalized because human lives are worth something. Each person has purpose and they are supposed to live it out. That 16 year-old kid could have beaten that battle against cancer and showed the world that there is hope. That one life could affect others going through a similar battle, giving them hope to beat whatever they are dealing with. Maybe he could have gone on in life and done something more amazing than beating cancer. But his life was pulled away from him, and it wasn’t even his choice.

If it were to be legalized there remains the question of whether or not a patient could actually make the choice, provided that they were not yet 18. (As it stands now) the parents would have the ultimate decision and it may not be what the patient wanted. For example, consider the hypothetical situation of the 16 year-old boy  diagnosed with leukemia and who has been in and out of remission. He is battling this for the third time and has clearly stated that he wants to win this battle so that he can live his life. But his parents think that he is over his head and doesn’t understand that it will not work out. They think he is suffering too much and have chosenPAS to end the battle and the pain. In this situation the boy didn’t have a choice given that because he was not an adult and his life was ended too quickly. He had the hope that he could win the battle, he had the will to win, and his parents took that form him because they thought he was suffering too much. But what was really happening was that the parents didn’t want to see their child crushed when he may have found out later on that he wasn’t going to win that battle.

Again, I believe Physician assisted suicide should not be legalized. One reason is that it could go wrong, the choice made may not be the right one. The patient may not have wanted that, and it may hurt the family and friends in the long run. Also, every human life has a purpose and can make a huge difference, no matter what one may think. One life can change one thousand other lives by just doing one thing. A revolutionary change may have happened if that one person was still alive, but we may never know.