The psychological slippery slope from physician-assisted death to active euthanasia: a paragon of fallacious reasoning

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 22 (2):239-244 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In the debate surrounding the morality and legality of the practices of physician-assisted death and euthanasia, a common logical argument regularly employed against these practices is the “slippery slope argument.” One formulation of this argument claims that acceptance of physician-assisted death will eventually lead down a “slippery slope” into acceptance of active euthanasia, including its voluntary, non-voluntary, and/or involuntary forms, through psychological and social processes that warp a society’s values and moral perspective of a practice over an extended period of time. This formulation is known as the psychological slippery slope argument. This paper analyzes the psychological slippery slope argument as it is applied to the practice of physician-assisted death, and utilizing recent empirical evidence from various nations around the world that practice physician-assisted death and/or euthanasia, the paper argues that employing the psychological slippery slope argument against physician-assisted death is logically fallacious, this kind of slippery slope is unfounded in practice, and thus the psychological slippery slope argument is insufficient on its own to justify continued legal prohibition of physician-assisted death.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,998

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Easeful death: is there a case for assisted dying?Mary Warnock - 2008 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Elisabeth Macdonald.
A Logical Analysis of Slippery Slope Arguments.Georg Spielthenner - 2010 - Health Care Analysis 18 (2):148-163.
Living on a Slippery Slope.Hugh LaFollette - 2005 - The Journal of Ethics 9 (3-4):475-499.
Historical Analogies, Slippery Slopes, and the Question of Euthanasia.Walter Wright - 2000 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 28 (2):176-186.
Legalizing Physician-Aided Death.Alexander M. Capron - 1996 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 5 (1):10.
The Price of Compassion: Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia.Michael Stingl (ed.) - 2010 - Peterborough, CA: Broadview Press.
Death is Not Always the Greatest Evil: Killing and Letting Die in Bioethics.James Green - 2002 - Dissertation, Queen's University at Kingston (Canada)

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-08-26

Downloads
66 (#246,338)

6 months
18 (#141,331)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jordan Potter
University of Missouri, St. Louis

References found in this work

The Empirical Slippery Slope from Voluntary to Non-Voluntary Euthanasia.Penney Lewis - 2007 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 35 (1):197-210.
The Empirical Slippery Slope from Voluntary to Non-Voluntary Euthanasia.Penney Lewis - 2007 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 35 (1):197-210.
Historical Analogies, Slippery Slopes, and the Question of Euthanasia.Walter Wright - 2000 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 28 (2):176-186.
The Principle of Double Effect in End-of-Life Care.Jordan Potter - 2015 - The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 15 (3):515-529.

Add more references