Assisted Suicide : Pro Choice Or Anti Life?

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Physician assisted suicide is a topic that promotes debates from all sides. At the core of the physician assisted suicide debate is the idea that people should have the right to commit suicide if they choose to. There are those who feel human beings should have complete control over what happens to their bodies. Then there are those who feel we should strive to save life at all costs. When you add in the idea of a physician who has sworn to do no harm helping a person to end their life, the debate gets even more complicated. One opponent of Physician assisted suicide is Richard Doerflinger. Doerflinger in his article, Assisted Suicide: Pro-Choice or Anti-Life?, uses the Utilitarian theory of the greater good to explain how the slippery slope idea means physician assisted suicide will ultimately bring about more harm than good. On the other side of the debate Anthony Back, Robert Baker, et al. defend the rights of individuals to choose to end their life with the help of a physician based on a patient’s right to self-govern. Doerflinger argues that the removal of the stigma and unlawfulness of assisted suicide will result in an increase in reasons to commit assisted suicide even for those who may not actively seek it. He calls this the slippery slope idea and believes it would result in increased coercion to patients and their physicians to seek to end life. Doerflinger writes, “Socially accepted killing of innocent persons will interact with other social factors to threaten

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