The key to answering this question is to realize that civilized societies have always believed that we should treat human beings differently than we treat animals What is required to respect human life and human dignity is not the same as what is required for animal life. Still, animals deserve respect and it is wrong to inflict suffering on them. But in relation to relieving human suffering, thankfully, with 21st century medicine, we have highly effective forms of pain management which allow us to help people who are suffering without ending their lives, as we typically do to animals. People who are in favor of physician assisted suicide believe that, in certain situations helping someone end their own lives actually respects their right to autonomy. They also see it as a form of mercy. What they often fail to acknowledge, however, is that people who desire assisted suicide are extremely vulnerable. People who are elderly, disabled, in pain, or have a terminal disease, who want to die, typically feel that they are a burden on others, that life has lost its meaning, or that all hope is gone. In short, they are often depressed and the dangers of abusing them in their depression cannot be avoided once physician assisted suicide becomes legal and acceptable. Furthermore, we risk sending the dangerous and irresponsible message that suicide is an appropriate response to suffering. Physician assisted suicide is suicide and we must treat it as such. So how should we treat suicidal people? We show them that life is still worth living we love them and prove to them that they are not a burden to others we help them manage the pain we give them great palliative and end of life care. But we do not help them by killing them.