When a patient is considering physician-assisted suicide, often times they are not only thinking of what it will do to them, but also what it will do to their families. Many say that pursuing physician-assisted suicide will not only ease their suffering, but their families as well. The families can be at peace knowing that their loved ones are no longer suffering and they can know that their loved one chose the route of physician-assisted suicide for themselves. If the patient is kept alive, but eventually goes into a vegetative state, the family would then have to make the decision of whether or not and when to end the patient’s life. People don’t want to be left with the burden of choosing life or death for their loved one and would rather have the family member make that choice themselves, as they do with physician-assisted suicide. While this is a valid argument to consider, physician-assisted suicide is a permanent choice. There is no going back once the family realizes that they would have rather had the extra time to spend with their family member and enjoy the final moments. Feelings of guilt and depression often flood the minds of the family left behind. That is especially the case if they later learn that the diagnoses was false, as one daughter did. “After Rebecca Badger…killed herself, her daughter Christy discovered the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis was wrong. The autopsy showed that her mother did not have MS and, if she had sought a second opinion instead of assisted suicide, might still be alive today." Physician-assisted suicide may relieve some of the families suffering at the time, but the devastating feelings and emotions will last for the rest of their lives.
While physician-assisted suicide may initially seem like an option that should be given to those suffering from a terminal illness, it creates too many consequences that far outweigh the positives. It causes grief and regret in the families of those who choose it. It gives power of life to those who don’t need it. It gives the idea that suicide is okay for some, and not for others. The elderly, as well as the poverty-stricken, may be persuaded to take the route of physician-assisted suicide when it’s not what they want to do. Ultimately, physician-assisted suicide creates problems that aren’t necessary, and it should not be a legal method of dying in the United States.
To conclude the story from the introduction, Jeannine’s father “…not only walked [Jeannine’s sister] down the aisle, he walked all six of his daughters down the aisle and attended the weddings of two of his three sons… he lived 20 years longer than predicted." Had Jeannine’s father chosen physician-assisted suicide as his end-of-life option, he never would have seen those daughters and son’s weddings, he never would have seen the grandchildren that he did, and he would have missed out on nearly 20 years of his life. Physician-assisted suicide takes away more than it could ever give back.