Unit 7 Project Part 3: Opposing Sides Essay

916 Words Jun 9th, 2013 4 Pages
My initial position Euthanasia is wrong and should never be legalized

Laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide are in place to prevent abuse and to protect people from unscrupulous doctors and others. They are not, and never have been, intended to make anyone suffer. Activists often claim that laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide are government mandated suffering. This claim would be similar to saying that laws against selling contaminated food are government mandated starvation. In a society as obsessed with the costs of health care and the principle of utility, the dangers of the slippery slope are far from fantasy.

Assisted suicide is like a half-way house, or a stop on the way to other forms of direct euthanasia. If
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Those who will be most vulnerable to abuse, error, or indifference are the poor, minorities, and those who are least educated and least empowered.

This risk does not reflect a judgment that physicians are more prejudiced or influenced by race and class than the rest of society. Also, they are not exempt from the prejudices manifest in other areas of our collective life. While our society aspires to eradicate discrimination and the most punishing effects of poverty in employment practices, housing, education, and law enforcement, we consistently fall short of our goals. The costs of this failure with assisted suicide and euthanasia would be extreme. Nor is there any reason to believe that the practices, whatever safeguards are erected, will be unaffected by the broader social and medical context in which they will be operating.

Opposing Position

A state's categorical ban on physician assistance to suicide as applied to terminally ill patients who wish to avoid unendurable pain and hasten inevitable death substantially interferes with this protected liberty interest and cannot be sustained. The right of a competent, terminally ill person to avoid excruciating pain and embrace a timely and dignified death bears the sanction of history and is implicit in the concept of ordered liberty. The exercise of this right is as central to personal autonomy and bodily integrity as rights safeguarded by this Court's decisions relating to marriage, family relationships,

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