The pro-assisted suicide movement always couches its argument in terms of “compassion” and “choice,” downplays the word “suicide,” and breezily dismiss any counter arguments about the (very real) slippery slope that will accompany the legalization of the practice. For example, here’s a section from the FAQ of the Compassion and Choices website:
The slippery slope argument hypothesizes that legal aid in dying will lead to forced euthanasia. Slippery slopes are precarious situations that one step logically necessitates subsequent steps. This does not define aid in dying, which is always dependent upon one individual. That said, we recognize that any law is subject to abuse, which is why the Oregon law and other proposed legislation have built-in safeguards.
The breezy dismissals are a little harder to swallow when reality looks like this:
Prosecutors are calling for tougher regulations on Switzerland’s assisted suicide clinics after uncovering evidence that some of the foreign clients they help to die are simply depressed rather than suffering incurable pain.
The clinics, which attract hundreds of foreigners, including Britons, every year, have been accused of failing to carry out proper investigations into whether patients meet the requirements of Switzerland’s right-to-die laws.
In some cases, foreign clients are being given drugs to commit suicide within hours of their arrival, which critics say leaves doctors and psychologists unable to conduct a detailed assessment or to provide appropriate counselling.
Let’s face facts: when you deny that human life has intrinsic value from start to finish, and substitute the idea of “quality of life” as the sole determining factor as to whether someone can live or take their own life, you’re marching full tilt down a path that leads to people killing themselves to avoid the pain of a completely treatable condition – and worse.