Assisted Suicide — Should It Be Legal?

By Sadie Bass

Jul 16, 2009 5:00pm

Last night on our broadcast, Jim Sciutto brought us a report about a couple who committed suicide together at a clinic after learning that one of them had terminal cancer.  We also posted an entry here on our blog asking readers to chime in — is it ever ok to take your own life?

We received over 70 comments, many with very strong opinions.  Here are a few of them:

"It is your life. You alone get to decide what you do with it. No one can feel your pain, suffer your illness, or put themselves in your shoes. I don't want to suffer unmercifully for years or be a burden to my family. Medicine is limited when it comes to actually curing illness. There is a huge difference between living and just being alive." — Kelly

"I do believe people have the right to end their own life but I'm not so sure that someone should get assistance when there is not a terminal / chronic illness involved. Aren't doctors supposed to "first – do no harm". If someone is not in pain or dying, isn't it harmful to help them die? 

Not a religious thing and I can't even say these people are wrong, but IF the US is going to consider assisted suicide then we are going to need to start with guideliness that allow this only for people in pain or dying." — barbara

"I find it remarkable that when an animal is old and suffering we "don't have the heart" to keep it alive. However, when a human being is suffering we don't have the heart to let them die! Instead we fill them with drugs and machines to try to drain every bit of life out of them as we can, eve if it causes them nothing but endless misery.

In most cases taking one's own life is needless and causes more suffering that it ends. But, in cases of the terminally ill where there is no hope, allow them to die with dignity." — Jeff Vachon

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