Assisted Suicide: Pro-Choice or Anti-Life?
Hastings Center Report. 1989 Jan/Feb; 19(1): S16-S19.
The argument that acceptance of assisted suicide is an outgrowth of respect for personal autonomy departs from the traditional American value that holds life more basic than freedom and serves freedom by discouraging rather than assisting self-destruction. The sociological argument that removal of the taboo against assisted suicide will lead to the destructive expansion of the right to kill the innocent is explored through examples of the psychological vulnerability of elderly and dying patients, legal doctrines on "substituted judgment," prejudice against citizens with disabilities, the character of the medical profession, and the human will to power. Those who favor social and legal acceptance of assisted suicide have not adequately responded to these "slippery slope" claims by their opponents; the strict philosophical case on behalf of assisted suicide also fails for lack of conceptual logic and coherence. (KIE abstract)
Active Euthanasia; Aged; Assisted Suicide; Autonomy; Competence; Consent; Discrimination; Dying Patients; Economics; Euthanasia; Freedom; Killing; Life; Patients; Physicians; Personal Autonomy; Power; Quality of Life; Social Discrimination; Suffering; Suicide; Substituted Judgment; Terminally Ill; Value of Life; Wedge Argument;
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