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 Feb. 26, 2018 Google showed 2.38 million results for "physician assisted suicide," 1.63 million results for "medical aid in dying," and 740,000 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

Law and Public Policy

Euthanasia in Practice

Physician Involvement in Euthanasia and PAS

American Healthcare System

Religious Concerns

Moral Differences in Forms of Assisted Dying

End-of-Life Legal Documents

Palliative Care

Slippery Slope Argument

Special Groups

Historical Issues







Notices for Euthanasia and Other ProCon.org Information (archived after 30 days)
50 Lesson Plan Ideas Using ProCon.org
7/16/2018 - We're excited to announce 50 free lesson plan ideas for educators! Visit our Teachers' Corner for inspiration, including lessons plans about distinguishing fact from opinion, how to write a "call-to-action" letter, and content from our partner Credo Reference.

How Much Do Physician-Assisted Suicide Drugs Cost?
6/26/2018 - According to health care reporters and organizations such as Death with Dignity, the cost of the medications used for PAS ranges from $300 to $20,000.

Do Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide Violate the Hippocratic Oath?
6/20/2018 - Explore both sides of this debate with quotes from doctors Jack Ende (pro) and Michael J. Strauss (con), the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (pro), President of the Center for Inquiry Ronald A. Lindsay (con), and ethicists Josef Kure (pro) and Steven H. Miles (con).

Archived Notices

Last updated on 7/17/2018 8:31:07 AM PST

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 Feb. 26, 2018 Google showed 2.38 million results for "physician assisted suicide," 1.63 million results for "medical aid in dying," and 740,000 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

Law and Public Policy

Euthanasia in Practice

Physician Involvement in Euthanasia and PAS

American Healthcare System

Religious Concerns

Moral Differences in Forms of Assisted Dying

End-of-Life Legal Documents

Palliative Care

Slippery Slope Argument

Special Groups

Historical Issues

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?











Notices for Euthanasia and Other ProCon.org Information (archived after 30 days)
50 Lesson Plan Ideas Using ProCon.org
7/16/2018 - We're excited to announce 50 free lesson plan ideas for educators! Visit our Teachers' Corner for inspiration, including lessons plans about distinguishing fact from opinion, how to write a "call-to-action" letter, and content from our partner Credo Reference.

How Much Do Physician-Assisted Suicide Drugs Cost?
6/26/2018 - According to health care reporters and organizations such as Death with Dignity, the cost of the medications used for PAS ranges from $300 to $20,000.

Do Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide Violate the Hippocratic Oath?
6/20/2018 - Explore both sides of this debate with quotes from doctors Jack Ende (pro) and Michael J. Strauss (con), the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (pro), President of the Center for Inquiry Ronald A. Lindsay (con), and ethicists Josef Kure (pro) and Steven H. Miles (con).

Archived Notices

Last updated on 7/17/2018 8:31:07 AM PST