“Known as a slippery slope argument or what one commentator has called the ‘thin edge of the wedge’ argument, the opponents of assisted-suicide conjure up a parade of horribles and insist that the only way to halt the downward spiral is to stop it before it starts…
This same nihilistic argument can be offered against any constitutionally-protected right or interest. Both before and after women were found to have a right to have an abortion, critics contended that legalizing that medical procedure would lead to its widespread use as a substitute for other forms of birth control or as a means of racial genocide. Inflammatory contentions regarding ways in which the recognition of the right would lead to the ruination of the country did not, however, deter the Supreme Court from first recognizing and then two decades later reaffirming a constitutionally-protected liberty interest in terminating an unwanted pregnancy. In fact, the Court has never refused to recognize a substantive due process liberty right or interest merely because there were difficulties in determining when and how to limit its exercise or because others might someday attempt to use it improperly.
Recognition of any right creates the possibility of abuse. The slippery slope fears of Roe’s [Roe v. Wade] opponents have, of course, not materialized. The legalization of abortion has not undermined our commitment to life generally; nor, as some predicted, has it led to widespread infanticide. Similarly, there is no reason to believe that legalizing assisted suicide will lead to the horrific consequences its opponents suggest.”Mar. 6, 1996 - Compassion in Dying v. Washington