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Pros and cons

Devalued lives
Arguments in favour:

In every country in the west, euthanasia is illegally performed by medical doctors therefore it is better to legalize it so as to have it under control. Indirect active euthanasia (doctors raise the level of medication until the patient dies) is performed legally in most countries of the west; however, patients do not give their consent and it is not controlled unlike euthanasia/assisted suicide which is controlled; therefore it is better to allow those forms of assisted dying because they are fully controlled.

 

Old or dying patients often say they are a burden to society or to those around them; this does not indicate pressure but is a common expression of the wish to die after suffering.

 

Vulnerable/handicapped people do not need to feel pressured; they are not dying patients and usually are not even allowed to die medically assisted.

Arguments against:

Assisting a patient’s death means deciding which life is valuable and which is not.

Duty to die
Arguments in favour:

Patients considering medically assisted dying are well-informed, strong-willed and therefore do not succumb to any form of pressure.

Arguments against:

Because of pressure from society on patients to kill themselves / dispose of themselves to spare society the cost and the burden.

Incentives
Arguments in favour:

A law legalizing assisted dying would offer patients a choice and it would also provide safeguards, the elderly and the terminally ill would be able to choose between decent palliative care, hospital care, dying at home or medically assisted dying.

Arguments against:

Patients/family members will socially benefit from the suffering and should therefore not avoid it. Organizations/helpers profit financially from the assisted dying of the patient.

Palliative Care
Arguments in favour:

Countries/states legalizing medically assisted dying see a clear rise in the quality and quantity of their palliative care supply, that is a positive side effect; it by the way also faith of patients in their doctors and their country’s health care system rise, this will be another positive effect. Not all patients want palliative care. Not all patients want to die heavily sedated therefore the possibility of dying fully conscious that assisted dying provides must be allowed.

Arguments against:

Assisted dying is unnecessary because palliative care can remove all pain and suffering. Poor information on palliative care causes patients to want to end their lives. Patients are badly counselled and poorly informed about palliation. That will drive them to medically assisted dying and therefore cost life years.

Religion
Arguments in favour:

All religious arguments are only valid for religious believers; these religious rules and restrictions however cannot be put upon all people; most are secular countries and religious beliefs cannot dictate laws.

Arguments against:

The sanctity of life (only God can take a life)

Slippery slope
Arguments in favour:

Slippery-slope arguments have been brought forward in the past against abortion laws, living wills and pre-implantation – it has never been proved right so far.

Arguments against:

Slippery slope claim; there is a certain risk of the "slippery slope", offering an opportunity to kill people who are not terminal, or who have not expressed their wish to die.

Suicide
Arguments in favour:

In the western world there is a rise of patients in assisted dying; that is not due to pressure, slippery slope or «duty to die», it is simply a consequence of demographics (life expectancy rising and therefore problems of high age) and of progress in medicine which keeps patients alive longer.

Arguments against:

Assisted dying is only the first step to more (f.i. euthanasia, more lonely suicides). Once it’s allowed, there will be more and more cases (Pandora’s Box argument, voluntary death considered to be contagious) to an intolerably high level (thus costing even more lives).

Unnecessary
Arguments in favour:

To take one’s own life is not a crime and cannot be prevented; it can only be made more humane or less humane.

 

Restrictions against assisted dying are inhumane and unfair to suffering patients.

 

Those patients choosing assisted dying do not have a choice between life or death - they are dying anyway, often within days, they only shorten their suffering through medically assisted dying.

Arguments against:

Assisted dying is not needed, if a patient wants to kill himself he is free to do so by many means.

Unwillingness doctors
Arguments in favour:

Almost no country let’s its future doctors take the Hippocratic oath. It has been replaced by the Geneva convention which does not ban supporting a dying patient with lethal medication (otherwise indirect active euthanasia would be forbidden to M.D.s).

Arguments against:

The Hippocratic oath does not allow doctors to help their patients die.

 

Health care professionals have to act against their will.