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The Suicide tourist - Essay Example

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The Suicide tourist

In countries such as Switzerland, legally operated clinics such as ‘Dignitas’ offer suicide assistance to patients who face an inevitably long and painful death in the not so distant future. The moral question that have been raised so far, revolve around the right for persons to end their own lives. This is evident in situations when death is imminent due to terminal illness. Moreover, the assisted suicide procedure has elicited controversial issues concerning the respect for personal rights and desires versus the threat for abuse. At the heart of this controversy is Dignitas and its patients seeking assisted suicide services. Evidently, Switzerland is the only country that permits foreigners to come and seek the services of assisted suicide. To this end, this paper will seek to establish the moral basis and acceptance of the right to end one’s life as an act preventing further suffering. Consequently, an innate understanding of Craig Ewert’s case in ‘The Suicide Tourist’ will provide insight into judging the morality of his actions. The Suicide Tourist is a compelling and moving documentary that narrates the last days and eventual assisted suicide of Craig Ewert. The documentary raised pertinent questions about the quality of life and the moral precinct of ending one’s life (Fuchs, 2010). To this end, Craig articulately posed strong and logical arguments regarding his decision to end his life. Craig was a 59 year old American citizen who relocated to England with his wife. As a professor of Computer Science, and his wife enrolled for a PhD in Law, things were going quite well until Craig was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as ALS ( Fuchs, 2010). The condition was a neurological terminal disease that would rapidly waste away his motor functions. To this end, he was given at most five years to live. However, 6 months after the diagnosis, Craig’s health had rapidly deteriorated to the point that he could not walk, swallow food or breathe on his own without a ventilator. At this point, Craig decided to end his life and avoid a prolonged painful suffering and inevitable death. Upon discussion with his family, they came to accept that he was suffering and acknowledged that his death was imminent. Ultimately, Craig family supported his wishes to end his life. To this end, Craig sought the services of Dignitas clinic in Switzerland. The clinic offered suicide assistance to terminally ill patients that were faced with an inevitable death after prolonged pain and suffering. At this point, it is important to note the facts that led Craig’s decision in choosing to end his life rather than wait for his inevitable death. In his own words, Craig noted that his degenerative state would render him paralyzed without any functions of his motor functions. He knew that he would be essentially trapped in his own body without the luxury of being able to communicate or even move any part of his body. Consequently, he was aware that he would be trapped in his own body just waiting for death. To this end, time was of the essence since he had to solely partake the lethal dosage that would ultimately end his life. Furthermore, Craig asserted that he was not tired of living but was tired of the disease. In addition Craig delved in the moral concern raised over assisted suicide and its judgement based on ...Show more


Name Professor Course Date The Suicide Tourist The precincts of moral and immoral behaviour have often been an issue of controversy. This controversy has always arisen from the different perspectives and moral theories that people apply in judging whether an action is morally wrong or right…
Author : gabrielthiel
The Suicide tourist essay example
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