Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?

Proponents of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (PAS) contend that terminally ill people should have the right to end their suffering with a quick, dignified, and compassionate death. They argue that the right to die is protected by the same constitutional safeguards that guarantee such rights as marriage, procreation, and the refusal or termination of life-saving medical treatment.

Opponents of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide contend that doctors have a moral responsibility to keep their patients alive as reflected by the Hippocratic Oath. They argue there may be a "slippery slope" from euthanasia to murder, and that legalizing euthanasia will unfairly target the poor and disabled and create incentives for insurance companies to terminate lives in order to save money.


[Editor's Note: We do not recommend or refer specific physicians, counselors, organizations, or other experts on end-of-life issues.] Euthanasia ProCon.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit website that presents research, studies, and pro and con statements on questions about euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide and related end-of-life issues. Some people find our use of the phrase "physician-assisted suicide" inaccurate and inappropriate, and they suggest we use the phrase "physician aid in dying" instead. As of Nov. 5, 2014 Google showed 713,000 results for "physician assisted suicide" and 39,400 results for "physician aid in dying." In an effort to make our nonpartisan research accessible to the largest possible audience, we have used the more popular phrase "physician-assisted suicide." We do not mean to show support for or opposition to the practice by using the more common terminology.

PROS & CONS BY CATEGORY
CORE QUESTION

Definitions

Moral Differences in Forms of Assisted Dying

Religious Concerns

Law and Public Policy

Oregon Death with Dignity Act

Dr. Kevorkian

Terri Schiavo

Futility Policies

Euthanasia in Practice

Physician Involvement in Euthanasia and PAS

American Healthcare System

Living Wills, Advance Directives, & Power of Attorney

Palliative Care

"Slippery Slope" Argument

Doctrine of Double Effect

Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders

Infants & the Groningen Protocol

Special Groups







Notices for Euthanasia and Other ProCon.org Information (archived after 30 days)
Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?
7/19/2017 - Explore this debate with quotes from experts and organizations such as Governor of California Jerry Brown (pro), the American Medical Association (con), the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board (pro), Catholic Archbishop Jose H. Gomez (con), Steven Hawking (pro), and ethics professor Courtney S. Campbell (con).

Archived Notices

Last updated on 7/19/2017 12:42:25 PM PST

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Proponents of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (PAS) contend that terminally ill people should have the right to end their suffering with a quick, dignified, and compassionate death. They argue that the right to die is protected by the same constitutional safeguards that guarantee such rights as marriage, procreation, and the refusal or termination of life-saving medical treatment.

Opponents of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide contend that doctors have a moral responsibility to keep their patients alive as reflected by the Hippocratic Oath. They argue there may be a "slippery slope" from euthanasia to murder, and that legalizing euthanasia will unfairly target the poor and disabled and create incentives for insurance companies to terminate lives in order to save money.

[Editor's Note: We do not recommend or refer specific physicians, counselors, organizations, or other experts on end-of-life issues.] Euthanasia ProCon.org is a nonpartisan, nonprofit website that presents research, studies, and pro and con statements on questions about euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide and related end-of-life issues. Some people find our use of the phrase "physician-assisted suicide" inaccurate and inappropriate, and they suggest we use the phrase "physician aid in dying" instead. As of Nov. 5, 2014 Google showed 713,000 results for "physician assisted suicide" and 39,400 results for "physician aid in dying." In an effort to make our nonpartisan research accessible to the largest possible audience, we have used the more popular phrase "physician-assisted suicide." We do not mean to show support for or opposition to the practice by using the more common terminology.

PROS & CONS BY CATEGORY
CORE QUESTION

Definitions

Moral Differences in Forms of Assisted Dying

Religious Concerns

Law and Public Policy

Oregon Death with Dignity Act

Dr. Kevorkian

Terri Schiavo

Futility Policies

Euthanasia in Practice

Physician Involvement in Euthanasia and PAS

American Healthcare System

Living Wills, Advance Directives, & Power of Attorney

Palliative Care

"Slippery Slope" Argument

Doctrine of Double Effect

Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders

Infants & the Groningen Protocol

Special Groups

State-by-State Guide to Physician Assisted Suicide

Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS) around the World

Should All Americans Have the Right (Be Entitled) to Health Care?



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Notices for Euthanasia and Other ProCon.org Information (archived after 30 days)
Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?
7/19/2017 - Explore this debate with quotes from experts and organizations such as Governor of California Jerry Brown (pro), the American Medical Association (con), the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board (pro), Catholic Archbishop Jose H. Gomez (con), Steven Hawking (pro), and ethics professor Courtney S. Campbell (con).

Archived Notices

Last updated on 7/19/2017 12:42:25 PM PST