Those of us who are freedom and liberty denying enough to object to assisted suicide have often tried to point out that there\’s something of a slippery slope here.
Yes, of course, upping the morphine dose to the point of respiratory failure for someone who will die in agony in a couple of days is quite probably an advance in human mercy.
But people like me, freedom and liberty denying as we are, tend to go on to point out that it won\’t stop there. In particular, that we\’ll end up with those with mental problems being offed: when, of course, one of the defining characteristics of mental problems is that those suffering them are not compos mentis and are therefore incapable of proper informed consent or decision making.
Here\’s one of the organisations that helps assisted suicides complaining about the way in which Switzerland is thinking of tightening up their laws on the matter:
Another group, Dignitas, said that if associations were banned from offering assisted suicide to people suffering from chronic illnesses or psychiatric problems, it could lead to \”solitary suicides on railway tracks or from high bridges.\”
We\’ve moved rather a long way down that slippery slope when instead of the argument being \”how do we set the rules so that we don\’t off nutters\” to \”we should off nutters because they\’ll make the trains dirty\”.