Former President Jimmy Carter has entered hospice care, after a long life spent serving his fellow man. Carter was a controversial President, only serving one term before losing a re-election in 1980, but he did not complain about losing. Instead he used the next 42 years to serve humanity. Even his detractors would admit he had a firm moral compass and he followed it (put intended) religiously.
And yet Jimmy Carter has been forced to make his family suffer through watching his body expire. He knows that his time as come, but rather than being able to say goodbye to his wife of 70 years, he and she are forced to wait through the arduous and emotionally devastating process of the slower physical death of his body.
Death is an inevitable part of life, and every individual should have the right to choose how they want to experience it. Death with dignity is a crucial aspect of personal autonomy and should be protected as a fundamental human right.
When individuals are denied the right to choose the manner of their death, it violates their bodily autonomy. People have the right to make decisions about their own bodies and lives, including how they wish to die. By denying this choice, society is essentially infringing upon their personal liberty and freedom.
Moreover, when people are forced to continue living in unbearable pain or suffering, it can cause not only physical but also emotional and financial hardship for both the individual and their loved ones. Medical bills can quickly pile up, putting a significant financial strain on families. Furthermore, watching a loved one suffer can be a deeply traumatic experience that can take a toll on mental health, causing prolonged emotional suffering.
Death with dignity offers an alternative for those who wish to avoid prolonged pain and suffering. It allows individuals to choose the timing and circumstances of their death, giving them a sense of control and dignity in their final moments. By respecting an individual’s decision to choose their own death, we can reduce unnecessary suffering for both the individual and their loved ones.
In conclusion, the right to death with dignity should be a fundamental human right. Denying individuals the choice of how they wish to die violates their bodily autonomy, causing them and their loved ones financial and emotional suffering. We must change our laws to allow individuals to have control over their own lives and deaths, and ensuring that their final moments are ones of dignity and peace.