Kevin Yuill argues legalizing assisted suicide would only codify a neutral stance towards killing one's self. Calling it a "foot in the door," Yuill also argues that legalizing euthanasia would enable anyone to declare they have enough "unbearable suffering" to warrant an assisted suicide.
Proponents of assisted dying aim to give people the ability to control their destiny. But many are also concerned that loosening the law would be a slippery slope leading to an increasing prevalence of assisted suicide, and would open the door to euthanasia. Others worry a change to the law would signal a cultural acceptance of suicide more generally.
Critics, both secular and religious, oppose any new legislation. They emphasize the value of life and argue for a focus on prolonging life or on palliative care, suggesting that legalizing assisted dying would irretrievably transform the relationship between doctors and patients.
Advocates of assisted dying retort that legalization would allow the practice to be publicly regulated and scrutinized.
Does the right to die at the time and manner that one wishes follow directly from the right to choose how one lives? Or should suicide always be discouraged? How does the concept of dignity fit in to this discussion? And why has the assisted dying debate come to assume such cultural and political importance in recent years? - Institute of Ideas
Kevin Yuill is senior lecturer in History and American Studies at Sunderland University. He is now preparing a book outlining a humanist, libertarian case against assisted suicide. Previously, he has published articles in Spiked, The Spectator, and The Tablet and other journals on assisted suicide as well as articles on the rise of therapeutic methods of governing during the Nixon administration, the sociology of Robert Ezra Park, and the origins of country music.