In Jukka Varelius & Michael Cholbi (eds.), New Directions in the Ethics of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia. Springer Verlag ()

Adam Feltz
Michigan Technological University
This chapter provides empirical evidence about everyday attitudes concerning euthanasia. These attitudes have important implications for some ethical arguments about euthanasia. Two experiments suggested that some different descriptions of euthanasia have modest effects on people’s moral permissibility judgments regarding euthanasia. Experiment 1 (N = 422) used two different types of materials (scenarios and scales) and found that describing euthanasia differently (‘euthanasia’, ‘aid in dying’, and ‘physician assisted suicide’) had modest effects (≈3 % of the total variance) on permissibility judgments. These effects were largely replicated in Experiment 2 (N = 409). However, in Experiment 2, judgments about euthanasia’s moral permissibility were best predicted by the voluntariness of the treatment. Voluntariness was a stronger predictor than some demographic factors and some domain general elements of moral judgments. These results help inform some debates about the moral permissibility of euthanasia (e.g., the slippery slope argument) suggesting that some of the key premises of those arguments are unwarranted.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Mapping the Moral Domain.Jesse Graham, Brian A. Nosek, Jonathan Haidt, Ravi Iyer, Spassena Koleva & Peter H. Ditto - 2011 - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 101 (2):366-385.
Voluntary Active Euthanasia.Dan W. Brock - 1992 - Hastings Center Report 22 (2):10-22.
Against the Right to Die.J. David Velleman - 1992 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 17 (6):665-681.
The Empirical Slippery Slope From Voluntary to Non-Voluntary Euthanasia.Penney Lewis - 2007 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 35 (1):197-210.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Slippery Slopes Revisited.Martin Hinton - 2020 - Studia Semiotyczne 34 (2):9-24.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Consequentialism and the Slippery Slope: A Response to Clark.Jonathan Hughes - 2000 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 17 (2):213–220.
The Empirical Slippery Slope From Voluntary to Non-Voluntary Euthanasia.Penney Lewis - 2007 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 35 (1):197-210.
Slippery Slope Arguments.Douglas N. Walton - 1992 - Oxford University Press.
The Great Slippery-Slope Argument.J. A. Burgess - 1993 - Journal of Medical Ethics 19 (3):169-174.
The Many Guises of the Slippery Slope Argument.Jeffrey P. Whitman - 1994 - Social Theory and Practice 20 (1):85-97.
The Fallacy of the Slippery Slope Argument on Abortion.Chenyang Li - 1992 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 9 (2):233-237.
Down the Slippery Slope: Arguing in Applied Ethics.E. Telfer - 1993 - Journal of Medical Ethics 19 (4):240-241.
Slippery Slope Arguments and Social Policy Debates.Eric Lode - 1996 - Dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder
Slippery Slopes and Collapsing Taboos.John Woods - 2000 - Argumentation 14 (2):107-134.
Human Gene Therapy and Slippery Slope Arguments.T. McGleenan - 1995 - Journal of Medical Ethics 21 (6):350-355.
Slippery Slopes in Flat Countries--A Response.J. J. van Delden - 1999 - Journal of Medical Ethics 25 (1):22-24.


Added to PP index

Total views
915 ( #7,059 of 2,498,994 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
75 ( #10,199 of 2,498,994 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes