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

Authors
Jordan Potter
University of Missouri, St. Louis
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.
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DOI 10.1007/s11019-018-9864-8
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References found in this work BETA

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.
The Principle of Double Effect in End-of-Life Care.Jordan Potter - 2015 - The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 15 (3):515-529.
Historical Analogies, Slippery Slopes, and the Question of Euthanasia.Walter Wright - 2000 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 28 (2):176-186.

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Citations of this work BETA

What Passive Euthanasia Is.Iain Brassington - 2020 - BMC Medical Ethics 21 (1):1-13.
Slippery Slopes Revisited.Martin Hinton - 2020 - Studia Semiotyczne 34 (2):9-24.

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Historical Analogies, Slippery Slopes, and the Question of Euthanasia.Walter Wright - 2000 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 28 (2):176-186.
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Death is Not Always the Greatest Evil: Killing and Letting Die in Bioethics.James Green - 2002 - Dissertation, Queen's University at Kingston (Canada)

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