Rebekah Honeycutt

Light and Love be with you!

Essay: Option for Death

This essay I would like to revise and add more information to in the future…

Option for Death

Individuals can be found across the planet that can be classified as having a failure to thrive.  Catherine Sarkisian enlightens what this phrase means, “The term “failure to thrive” is frequently used to describe older adults whose independence is declining” (Sarkisian). This person can continue through their life and become a burden to the state, country, and society in which they reside.  Only two states in the US have approved Physician-Assisted Suicide, Oregon and Washington, another 43 States have laws that criminalize the act (“Euthanasia”).  America should take Euthanasia a step further by providing an ‘Option for Death’.  The ability to choose life or death is the natural right of all human beings, and should be an available decision provided to Americans without consequences.


Burden to Society:

When a human has decided not to pursue their goals in life, not to take care of themselves like they used to, and they fall into a depressive state, their family or the state in which they reside sometimes steps in to care for them. The individual is placed on Medicare, home health aides are arranged to visit the person’s home and care for them, and they may be placed in assisted-living. In the United States, the elderly population has been steadily growing.  “In 2000, 35.0 million people 65 years of age and over we counted in the United States. This represents a 12.0 percent increase since 1990, when 31.2 million older people were counted.” (Hetzel 1).   Adding to the population growth is life expectancy increases. “Life expectancy in the United States has hit another high, rising above 78 years…” (Associated Press A24).  With the increase in elderly population and the increase in life span, the American society has taken a downfall.  A quote from Nobel Laureate Dr. Henry W. Kendall explains the population situation very well. “If we don’t halt population growth with justice and compassion, it will be done for us by nature, brutally and without pity- and will leave a ravaged world.” Giving Americans the ‘Option for Death’ will aid society by reducing population overload, and hopefully allowing the earth to maintain itself.


The Brain and Maturation:

National Geographic Magazine published an article stating, “… A National Institutes of Health (NIH) project that studied over a hundred young people as they grew up during the 1990s—showed that our brains undergo a massive reorganization between our 12th and 25th years.” (Dobbs).  The article continues to explain that most human brains will be matured at the age of 25, even though the brain is 90% formed by the age of six.  Taking that into account, add 25 more years to the person’s life.  This second 25 years will be spent as they see fit, becoming who they have wanted to be, doing the jobs they want to do.  At and after the age of 50 this individual should have the right to decide if they want to continue their endeavors in this life, or choose the ‘Option for Death’.  The ability to choose between these two ‘options’ is the natural given right of every human being. Americans should be able to take these natural rights and decide their future without resulting in an aftereffect their families have to deal with such as not receiving benefits from the life insurance companies.


Explaining the Option for death:

The concept, ‘Option for Death’ is simply the ability of a person, or their family, to go before a judge and jury. The individual will explain why they have a ‘failure to thrive’, and why they believe it is their time to leave this earth. The judge and jury will then decide if their reasoning is pure and justified. Family physicians and mental health professionals will be consulted.  The individual may have a life-term disease, or perfect health.  The determining factors will include items such as failure to thrive, inability to function alone on a daily basis, suicidal tendencies, mental instability, and terminally ill.  If the individual is unable to make decisions for themselves due to disorientation from a normal daily life, the family can bring forth evidence for the person. The individual must show that they have their affairs in order, that they are a willing participant, and are ready to move on from this life. The ‘Option for Death’ is the American’s natural right to decide, or their family members that have documentation from the person explaining their wishes.


The Death Procedure:

The individual, when approved, shall have one week to get their affairs in order, including insurance.  Insurance will not be recorded as a suicide but as an ‘option for death’ which continues their insurance plans and gives the benefits they have acquired within their life to their family without repercussions.  The individual and their family will then be able to choose the place at which they wish to die.  They will gather at this place with an appointed physician of the court. In physician-assisted suicides, “…a single lethal dose of a long-acting barbiturate is typically used.” (Ergo).  Definition from the science dictionary: A barbiturate is a “group of drugs that acts as depressants of the central nervous system…” (“Barbituarate”). This medicine allows the individual a sleep-like death that is very peaceful and non-traumatic to the person or the family.  The Individual will have the choice of placement of their body such as lying down or reclining. The meeting will last from one to two hours, giving family time to talk, share stories and mourn their loss. The person will then be transported to their choice funeral home.

Death is a choice. This choice should be made readily available to any person at or over the age of 50 within America.  Whether the individual is terminally ill, depressed, content, or has a failure to thrive, they should have the ‘Option for Death’ which has no repercussions for their family to overcome. As Jack Lessenberry, Michigan journalist wrote, “…today vast numbers of people are alive who would rather be dead, who have lives not worth living.” America has the opportunity to assist these vast numbers, by providing the ‘Option for Death’. Everyday people choose the path that the wish to travel, why then, can they not choose when and how they go down the path of death?





Associated Press. “American Life Span Edges Longer.”New York Times.

(2011): A24. Web. 14 Dec. 2011. < AMERICANLIFE_BRF.html>.

“Assisted Suicide Laws State By State.” Euthanasia. N.p., 2011. Web. 10

Nov 2011 <;.

“Barbiturate.” The American Heritage® Science Dictionary. Houghton

Mifflin Company. 08 Nov. 2011. <>.

Dobbs, David. “Beautiful Brains.”National Geographic. 10 2011: n. page. Print.

Ergo. “Drugs used in Judicial Executions and Assisted Suicide.”Assisted

Dying Blog. N.p., 12 apr 2006. Web. 09 Nov. 2011. <;.

Hetzel, Lisa. United States. US Dept of Commerce. Census 2000 Brief.

Washington DC: US

Gvmt, 2000. Web. <;.

Sarkisian, Catherine. “”Failure To Thrive” in Older Adults.” Annals of Internal Medicine.

124.12 (1996): 1072-1078. Web. 11 Nov. 2011. <;.


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