An argument against the legalization of euthanasia and physician assisted suicide

Ireland[ edit ] In Irelandit is illegal for a doctor or anyone to actively contribute to someone's death.

An argument against the legalization of euthanasia and physician assisted suicide

Those who would deny patients a legal right to euthanasia or assisted suicide typically appeal to two arguments: Both are scare tactics, the rhetorical force of which exceeds their logical strength.

It is, of course, easier to assert the existence of a slippery slope than to prove that it exists. Opponents of a legal right to die thus point to the Netherlands, for example, and note how the law permitting euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide in that country has become steadily more permissive.

At first, euthanasia was permitted only for the terminally ill who requested it, but then it was permitted for the chronically ill, for those whose suffering was psychological, and for incompetent patients, including children.

Definitions of Euthanasia

It is indisputable that the Dutch laws regarding euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide have become more permissive, but those who invoke the slippery slope argument fail to realize that those changes are insufficient to demonstrate the existence of a noxious slippery slope. To understand why this is the case, imagine, for example, that you are an opponent of apartheid in South Africa in the s.

An argument against the legalization of euthanasia and physician assisted suicide

If you are seeking to bring about legal change, through legal channels, you might realize that you have little hope of convincing the white electorate of abandoning apartheid. Thus, you might decide to begin by chipping away at the edges of the apartheid structure.

You might recommend, for example, abolishing separate entrances to the post office for blacks and whites. A defender of apartheid might resist that move by pointing to the possibility of a slippery slope: With that scenario in mind, we can see the hidden assumption in the slippery slope argument against legalizing euthanasia: It is the assumption that the instances of euthanasia that the Netherlands now permits are morally wrong.

But the problem is that very many defenders of a legal right to die would deny that those instances of euthanasia are wrong. Some of us think that the suffering that a person endures need not be the product of a terminal disease in order for it to be intolerable.

We also recognize that some mental suffering is intractable and as unbearable as physical suffering. And we recognize that it is not only competent patients, but also incompetent ones who can suffer from conditions that make their lives not worth living.

Accordingly, we would like to see euthanasia and assisted suicide permitted in such a wider range of cases. If, however, we cannot effect that legal change in one step, we recommend, in the first instance, a more limited liberalization of the law.

Once that change has been made, people might realize that the next step and then the next are also acceptable, even if they cannot see it now.

The second argument invoked by opponents of a legal right to die is the argument that such a right will be abused and that no legal safeguards can prevent that abuse. Thus, for example, it has been said that where written voluntary consent to euthanasia is a legal requirement, that consent has not always been obtained.

Similarly, it has been said that euthanasia or assisted suicide are often not reported, even in jurisdictions in which reporting is obligatory. The problem with that argument is that citing many examples of abuse of a legal right is not sufficient to justify withholding that right.

If the likelihood of abuse were thought to be grounds for withholding a right, then much more than euthanasia would have to be banned. Driving, for example, would have to be prohibited on the grounds that this right is abused and that none of the safeguards we have against such abuse are completely effective.

People drive faster than they should. They drive through red traffic lights and weave through traffic, and they drive cars that are not roadworthy.The Situation in the Netherlands In the Netherlands, the practice of euthanasia and assisted suicide was legalized by legislative decree in November Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a student.

This is not an example of the work written by our professional academic writers. You can view samples of our professional work here.. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays.

A legal right to die: responding to slippery slope and abuse arguments

Physician Assisted Suicide. Let’s say a close friend of yours is really sick. According to doctors and specialists, your friend has about a 20% chance of .

Assisted suicide is suicide committed with the aid of another person, sometimes a physician. The term is often used interchangeably with physician-assisted suicide (PAS), which involves a doctor "knowingly and intentionally providing a person with the knowledge or means or both required to commit suicide, including counseling about lethal doses of drugs, prescribing such lethal doses or.

Free euthanasia papers, essays, and research papers. Euthanasi A Non Voluntary Euthanasia - Euthanasia is the fact of ending somebody’s life when assisting him to die peacefully without pain. Euthanasia has been legalized in a few countries (such as in the Netherlands and Belgium) and assisted suicide in others (the Netherlands and Switzerland).

The US Supreme Court has concluded there is no constitutional right to assisted suicide, but has stated that it is up to the states to decide whether to permit PAS.

The Right to Assisted Suicide