Assisted death and the slippery slope-finding clarity amid advocacy, convergence, and complexity.

Research paper by M J MJ Shariff

Indexed on: 07 Jun '12Published on: 07 Jun '12Published in: Current oncology (Toronto, Ont.)


This paper unpacks the slippery slope argument as it pertains to assisted death.The assisted-death regimes of the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the states of Washington and Oregon are discussed and examined with respect to the slippery slope analytical rubric. In addition to providing a preliminary explanation of how the slippery slope argument has been academically defined and constructed, the paper examines assisted-death models from the perspective of considering what might exist at the top and at the bottom of the slippery slope. It also explores the nature and scope of safeguards implemented to avoid slippage, and shows that what lies at the top and bottom of the slippery slope may be different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. After identifying some of the recent concerns that have arisen within each of the jurisdictions (concerns that might be viewed by some as evidence of slide), the paper concludes by making note of certain critical issues in the current assisted-death debate that merit deeper examination.