A long time ago, culture was universal and permanent. There was one set of beliefs, ideals, and norms, and these were the standard for all human beings in all places and all times. We, however, live in the modern world. Our ethics are not an inheritance of the past, completed and ready for universal application. We are in the situation of having to form our own beliefs and meanings of life. This struggle is now obvious in the contemporary discussions of euthanasia.
Of the controversial discussions involving euthanasia, the question of legalization is an often argued one. Whether euthanasia ought to be illegal is different from the question of whether it is immoral. Some people believe that even if euthanasia is immoral, it still should not be prohibited by law, since if a patient wants to die, that is strictly a personal affair, regardless of how foolish or immoral the desire might be.
[Rachels, 56] My position is almost identical. I believe there are some instances in which euthanasia is immoral, but I believe it should unquestionably be legal. In the following paragraphs, I will display the position of the opposition to the legality of euthanasia as well as the position of the supporters. I shall attempt to prove that, yes, euthanasia should be legal.
There is a strong opposition against the legalization of euthanasia. The main argument against the legality of euthanasia is sometimes known as the slippery slope argument. People argue that if euthanasia was legally permitted, it would lead to a general decline in the respect for human life. It is professed that we would kill people in the beginning simply to put them out of extreme agony. This is the ideal. But the opposition states that the killing of people wouldn't stop here. The killing could...