Arguments against Euthanasia
The Slippery Slope
• Many people worry that if voluntary euthanasia were to become legal, it would not be long before involuntary euthanasia would start to happen.
• This is called the slippery slope argument. In general form it says that if we allow something relatively harmless today, we may start a trend that results in something currently unthinkable becoming accepted.
• If we change the law and accept voluntary euthanasia, we will not be able to keep it under control. It is impossible to create a regulatory system for euthanasia that will prevent the abuse of it.
• As a result, Doctors may soon start killing people without bothering with their permission.
• Health care costs will lead to doctors killing patients to save money or free up beds. The last few months of a patient\'s life are often the most expensive in terms of medical and other care. Shortening this period through euthanasia could be seen as a way of relieving pressure on scarce medical resources, or family finances.
• Family or others involved with the sick person may regard them as a burden that they don\'t wish to carry, and may put pressure (which may be very subtle) on the sick person to ask for euthanasia. Increasing numbers of examples of the abuse or neglect of elderly people by their families makes this an important issue to consider.
• Some people fear that allowing euthanasia sends the message, "it\'s better to be dead than sick or disabled".The subtext is that some lives are not worth living. Therefore it downgrades their status as human beings while they are alive.
• People who are ill and dependent can often feel worthless and an undue burden on those who love and care for them. They may actually be a burden, but those who love them may be happy to bear that burden.
• Nonetheless, if euthanasia is available, the sick person may pressure themselves into asking for euthanasia.