Thoughts on 

assisted suicide

One of my brothers passed away years ago. He was paralyzed on his left side, could not see or hear and finally died after a few months in a nursing home.

Shortly thereafter I became a member of “The Hemlock Society,” a right-to-die organization which later changed its name to “Compassion In Dying.” In 2002, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Switzerland allow physicians to physically assist in the death of patients. 

In the United States, six states allow medical aid in dying, a legal practice in which a person who has been diagnosed as terminally ill with six months or less to live can request a lethal dose of medication to self-administer in order to end their life. The option is designated a legal form of assisted suicide by district state laws. Non-medical assisted suicide is unlawful by common law or criminal statute in the vast majority of the United States.

Physician-assisted suicide is often confused with euthanasia. In cases of euthanasia, the physician administers the means of death, usually a lethal drug. In physician-assisted suicide, it is required that a person of sound mind voluntarily express his or her wish to die and requests a dose of medication that will end his or her life. The distinguishing aspect is that physician-assisted suicide requires the patient to self-administer the medication.

A 72-year-old friend of mine passed away a short time ago while asleep at her home. For approximately one week, she was given morphine shots every few hours to relieve her pain. In Ohio, we do not have “right-to-die” laws, which allows one the right to die while he or she is able to convey their choices. 

Twenty-six Ohio inmates are currently waiting on death row with dates scheduled for execution. The state plans to begin executing the men in January, although scheduled executions could be delayed by legal challenges. Some have been waiting nearly four decades due to the sentence being challenged or the choice of lethal injection being questioned.

When will Ohio voters wake up and place a “right-to die” law on the next ballot! Why does one have to suffer undo pain before dying? Where are the Ohio elected officials or candidates who will sponsor such laws? If you want to endure undue pain and suffering before you die, sit back and do nothing! Are you thinking?

Saad Assad

Ashtabula

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