Arguments for and against euthanasia

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Arguments for euthanasia and assisted suicide

There are several main types of argument used to support the practices of euthanasia and assisted suicide:

  • An ethical argument: according to the widely accepted ethical principle of respect for autonomy (freedom of choice), people should have the right to control their own body and life (as long as they do not abuse any other person’s rights), and the state should not create laws that prevent citizens being able to choose when and how they die.
  • A pragmatic argument: euthanasia, especially passive euthanasia, is already a widespread practice (allegedly), just not one that people are willing to confess to, so surely it is better to properly regulate euthanasia.

The pragmatic argument is discussed in more depth below.

Pragmatic argument

The pragmatic argument states that many of the practices used in end-of-life care are essentially a type of euthanasia in all but na

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