One of the most important debates today surrounds the issues of euthanasia and assisted suicides. Euthanasia is the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human being for his or her alleged benefit. (The key word here is "intentional". If death is not intended, it is not an act of euthanasia.) Assisted suicide is when the patient performs the act himself, rather than a physician. For example, the patient will purposely overdose on pills, which were provided by a physician. Therefore it is assisted suicide. Oregon permits assisted suicide, the Netherlands and Belgium permit both euthanasia and assisted suicide, and many more are thinking of legalizing the act. I believe it should remain illegal, for many reasons.
A request for assisted suicide is typically a cry for help. It is in reality a call for counseling, assistance, and positive alternatives as solutions for very real problems. Suicidal Intent is usually temporary. Of those who attempt suicide but are stopped, less than 4 percent go on to kill themselves in the next five years; less than 11 percent will commit suicide over the next 35 years. These deaths can be easily prevented with the right diagnosis and treatment.
Terminally Ill patients who desire death are depressed and depression is treatable in those with terminal illness. In one study, of the 24 percent of terminally ill patients who desired death, all had clinical depression. In this case, death can also be prevented. It would most likely be less expensive and troubling to have them go to a psychiatrist, and gain their life back.
Pain is controllable. Modern medicine has the ability to control pain. A person who seeks to kill him or herself to avoid pain does not need legalized assisted suicide but a doctor better trained in alleviating pain. If pain is the only reason for the patient to want to die, it's not enough. There is plenty of medication available today to help anything.