Is there a logical slippery slope from voluntary to nonvoluntary euthanasia?

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 21 (4):379-404 (2011)


Slippery slope arguments have been important in the euthanasia debate for at least half a century. In 1957 the Cambridge legal scholar Glanville Williams wrote a controversial book, The Sanctity of Life and the Criminal Law, in which he presented the decriminalizing of euthanasia as a modern liberal proposal taking its rightful place alongside proposals to decriminalize contraception, sterilization, abortion, and attempted suicide (all of which the book also advocated).1 Opposition to these reforms was in turn presented as exclusively religious and particularly Roman Catholic. Thus Williams asserted that "euthanasia can be condemned only according to religious opinion" (1957, p. 312).The following year, in ..

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