By Kevin Yuill (auth.)
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Additional info for Assisted Suicide: The Liberal, Humanist Case Against Legalization
In fact, there is a fundamental difference between the sides in that proponents tend to put forward political reasons for allowing assisted suicide whereas opponents stick to religious reasons for their opposition. Perhaps this is the reason why the discussion does not seem to move; both sides argue from utterly different cultural frameworks. The discussion seems to consist of a gradual chipping away of the case against legalization amongst the huge, neutral group who are not intimately involved in the debate.
Why then, proponents ask, should it not be allowed when it is really a kindness and in the subject’s best interests? Are opponents against doctors removing life support apparatus when further existence is futile? 2 There is a real basis to the sanctity of life, even for atheists, but it must be explicated rather than simply asserted. It is not always wrong to kill but, should someone kill, they must justify their action in a court of law. The sanctity of life argument is confused and unconvincing and often posed in absolutist terms.
Sustaining what in fact is a taboo in the face of relentless questioning is impossible. The slippery slope A second, related argument might be termed the ‘slippery slope’ argument (known as the ‘wedge principle’ in earlier debates). Favoured especially by secular opponents of legalization, it argues that if we allow the very few people who wish to have a legal assisted suicide to do so, more and more categories of people will be included in eligible groups. The pressure will mount upon people who feel they are a burden to their families or even to their healthcare providers.
Assisted Suicide: The Liberal, Humanist Case Against Legalization by Kevin Yuill (auth.)