Just as pain is a subjective feeling and we cannot attempt to define someone else’s pain, someone else’s suffering cannot be defined. “They too are autonomous, and, if autonomy is as important as the argument claims it is, then their autonomous requests for euthanasia should also be honored, even if they are not suffering greatly” (Meilaender, 2013, p. 63).  Therefore, I do not agree that suicide should be considered a sin.  If a patient decides that they do not want life- saving treatment, we would not consider that suicide, and why not?  Because we have the right to choose what is best for us based on our culture, beliefs, feelings, needs, and backgrounds.  Euthanasia can be considered similarly.  We make people comfortable at the end of life with prescribed medications, hence ultimately diminishing their respiratory drives leading to death, however; this is not considered euthanasia.  It is the patient’s choice to forgo suffering. Meilaender backhandedly writes, “Christians are, I suspect, more likely to be drawn to the argument that describes euthanasia as compassionate relief of suffering” (Meilaender, 2013, p. 65).  I do believe that no one can truly know the suffering of another person; the sufferer is not making his fate, but in fact living his fate.

As an oncology nurse, I see my patients suffer for months to years on end.  They suffer through chemotherapies, radiation, and surgeries to fight for their lives, or at the least prolonging them.  They have no intention of killing themselves willingly are unwillingly.  When there are no more options and death is inevitable, a comfortable ending should not be taken away from them.  It is their right they have earned.

Meilaender, G. (2013). Bioethics a Primer for Christians (3rd ed.). Retrieved from www.eerd

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