All of the arguments I have seen against euthanasia are variants of the "it is wrong to kill' argument. However, I don't think I've ever heard anyone actually make the over-simplified argument that killing is wrong, euthanasia is killing and therefore wrong except for proponents of euthanasia attempting to burn down a strawman. I'm not attempting to critique any of these arguments and I do not necessarily believe in any of them, I'm simply pointing out how they differ from the simplified "killing is wrong" argument.
Slippery slope argument #1, voluntary euthanasia leads to involuntary euthanasia.
This argument is simply that if euthanasia is legalized families and doctors will unduly pressure the possible euthanasia subject to choose termination. The subject not wanting to be burdensome to loved ones and weakened by the chronic medical condition assents to euthanasia, although that is not what the subject really wants.
Slippery slope argument #2, euthanasia cheapens life
This argument is as procedures such as euthanasia are legalized, human life loses some of its value in the eyes of society and therefore society in general will be more prone to engage in activities that take human life (such as murder).
Slippery slope argument #3, euthanasia leads to murder
This argument is that if euthanasia is allowable as a choice for people with legal power of attorney or guardianship for an incapacitated person, the guardian or power of attorney will be able to end the lives of subjects that should not be ended.
Slippery slope argument #4, legalized euthanasia of any sort will broaden in scope
This argument is that if chronically ill people are euthanized today, then those not 'fit' will be euthanized tomorrow and eventually only those who are "perfect" according to the ruling elite will not be euthanized.
Religous argument #1, who lives and who dies is in the hands of the deity
This argument is that it is not for humanity to decide when any given person dies, but for the creator of life to decide when to take back life. This argument comes in many shades. Some of its proponents use a variant of this argument to say that all ill people should receive all possible medical treatment to avoid death. Others allow for "non code" or "no treatment" guidelines and simply state that only active euthanasia is taking matters into one's own hands.
Guilt by association argument #1, Adolf Hitler was a big fan of euthanasia.
It had to be said. ;)
As one can tell, all of the arguments against euthanasia use the sanctity of life as one of the premises. None, however, are of the simple "killing is wrong and therefore euthanasia is wrong" variety. People who espoused such a straw argument would also have to argue that capital punishment, war, and abortion are all unequivocally wrong in order to be consistant.
Where do I sit on the issue? I'm not entirely certain. On the one hand, I do think that killing another human is always wrong. (I will concede that at times killing another human may be less wrong than the alternatives, provided we keep in mind that the lesser of two evils is still evil.) On the other hand, I'm not certain that I have the right to prevent someone who wants to kill his or her self from doing so. I'm also not convinced that any potential "good" brought into the picture through legal euthanasia would not be outweighted by the potential "harm."
If you want more anti-euthanasia arguments, I'm sure that google will provide.
[ Parent ]