Essay On Institutionalization Of Euthanasia

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One of the strongest arguments against euthanasia comes from Stephen Potts who states “I object to the institutionalization of euthanasia. Because the risks of such institutionalization are so grave as to outweigh the very real suffering of those who might benefit from it” (Potts, p. 587; emphasis mine). Potts’s main point of this statement is that the risks that come with legalizing euthanasia to the society as whole outweigh the suffering of an individual. Potts gives nine reasons for his argument that he calls the “Risks of Institutionalization”. I will debate two of the nine arguments Potts gives. The first argument I will debate is the “Reduced pressure to improve curative or symptomatic treatment”. In this argument Potts states “Some…show more content…
What Potts is suggesting is that if we legalize euthanasia that we would start to euthanize people that are terminally ill without their consent. I don’t find this argument to be very realistic, what Potts suggests is just an assumption of what might occur, there is no factual information supporting this theory. There are already several states that have legalized “Physician Assisted Suicide” with great success. There have been studies done on legalized euthanasia were the slippery slope effect has not occurred. For instance, there’s a research paper written by the Department of Public Health in the Netherlands titled “Two Decades of Research on Euthanasia from the Netherlands. What Have We Learnt and What Questions Remain?” This two decade review paper found that the slippery slope effect did not occur with the legalization of euthanasia in the Netherlands. Some of the facts listed in the review according to ( are one, “The frequency of ending of life without explicit patient request did not increase over the studied years” and two, “There is no evidence for a higher frequency of euthanasia, compared with background populations, among the elderly, people with low education status, the poor, the physically disabled or chronically…show more content…
These economic concerns already exert pressure to accept euthanasia, and, if accepted, they will inevitably tend to enlarge the category of patients for whom euthanasia is permitted” (Potts, p. 589). What Potts is trying to convey here is that by legalizing euthanasia, physicians will approve more euthanasia cases for the sole purpose of freeing up resources for use elsewhere. I do not agree with this part of Potts’s statement, “they will inevitably tend to enlarge the category of patients for whom euthanasia is permitted”, I don’t believe the medical industry would agree to lesser cases of euthanasia for the sole purpose of freeing up resources. As I mentioned in my argument against Potts’s slippery slope argument, there has been no evidence in systems where euthanasia is legalized of an increase in cases involving euthanasia. I do agree with Pott’s only in the position that more physicians will most likely become more accepting to the idea of euthanasia if legalized because it would undoubtedly free up hospital resources, that are currently being spent in the stabilizing the terminally ill during the last years of their life, to be used elsewhere, like providing more treatments for those that suffer from curable diseases. According to

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