Wesley J. Smith, who has become a prominent mouthpiece of conservative bioethics in the United States, testified in front of Congress last week. The national uproar last year following the attempts by Bill Frist and colleague to intervene in the Terri Schaivo Case sent a strong message that the people of the United States did not want politicians interfering in their private decisions at the end of life. In fact, a number of pundits have written that the misstep by Frist in the Schiavo case cost him his shot at the Presidency.
Smith, drawing on the experience of the Dutch, argues that euthanasia results inevitably in a slippery slope: "Once we accept the killing of terminally ill patients, as did the Dutch, we will invariably, over time, accept the killing of chronically ill patients, depressed patients, and ultimately perhaps, even children."
Inevitably? Let's try that logic on another case: "Once we accept the killing of murders, as do the Americans, we will invariably, over time, accept the killing of embezzlers, shoplifters, and ultimately perhaps, even jaywalkers."
Slopes aren't always that slippery, Wesley.
- Paul Root Wolpe
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