Slippery slope arguments encompass logical, psychological and arbitrary line. These different forms share a counter argument that when the first step is taken on a slippery slope the subsequent steps follow inevitably, whether for logical reasons, psychological reasons or to avoid unpredictability in a person's actions. (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
RESPONSE TO OBJECTIONS
It is important for the proponents of euthanasia to respond to objections raised by the opponents of the case. These responses are deliberated below (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy):
Response to Objection -- 1.
Proponents claim that the objection to the argument of relieving a person from pain and suffering is futile. Palliative care suggested as counter argument costs a price in the form of side effects. There are no guarantees that the treatment will bear any fruit. The situation may persist and even deteriorate. Extended courses of palliative treatment like morphine may induce negative and adverse effects on patient thereby worsening the situation. Inaddition, for those people who can not tolerate their dependence on others or on machinery, the provision of effective pain control will be quite irrelevant.
Response to Objection -- 2.
The opponents counter argument against autonomy and self-determination is provocative and self generated. It is true that a person may decide something out of desperation but there is always a cooling time suggested in taking a person's consent. Moreover, it advocates that if someone discusses the issue with others on several different occasions then definitely his or her wish is enduring. In addition, a person's living will can be given preference if that was written much before and in perfect state of mind. Therefore, the counter argument against a person's right to decide for himself is baseless.
Response to Objection -- 3.
The proponents respond to the objection against the application of doctrine of double effect in this case by stating that death can not be regarded as a bad thing when it helps in elimination of a person's pain. Euthanasia in reality is termed as 'good death' and therefore achiving a good thing through a bad one is based on wrong perception about the death. More-so, in euthanasia, as against the counter argument, not only the intention is good but the results being achieved are also best for the affected person.
Response to Objection -- 4.
Proponents of the theory comment that not granting the legal status to euthanasia due to the opponents slippery slope theory is unbelievable. There are always ways and means to ensure that the law is not misused or abused. Strict actions against the defaulters will restrain its wrongful use.
Euthanasia is still much debated. Passive form of euthanasia though has been embraced by few countries but question about validity of active euthanasia remains unanswered. People favoring the proposal generally advocate right of self-determination and the principle of mercy as the major driving forces towards deciding on euthanasia. Whereas the other school of thought rejects the idea of autonomy since according to them a person undergoing serious physical and mental stress is not competent enough to decide about his life or death. It has been established that people opposing the concept are over-whelmed by religious perspective rather than the principle of reality. The fact remains that with-holding life-sustaining treatment or administering a lethal injection are the same since both result in causing death. The case for active euthanasia in special circumstances under strict laws may be the possible solution to end this long-standing dispute.
Article on Introduction, background, laws, prevalence and ethical concerns on Euthanasia, Msn Encarta
Euthanasia Should Be Legal, The Guardian Newspaper, 12/9/2004
Euthanasia, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Euthanasia, the debate continues by Bob Lane. (January 2005)
James Rachels, Active and Passive Euthanasia. The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 292 ( January 9, 1975): 78-80
Quotation by Alexander Capron, Daily Telegraph (8 October 2004)
Quotation by Pope John Paul II: Evangelium Vitae (1995)
The Doctrine of Double Effects, Religion and ethics, bbc.co.uk http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/ethics/euthanasia/euth_double_effect.shtml