Whenever some form of beneficent killing--for example, voluntary euthanasia--is advocated, the proposal is greeted with a flood of slippery-slope arguments warning of the dangers of a Nazi-style slide into genocide. This paper is an attempt systematically to evaluate arguments of this kind. Although there are slippery-slope arguments that are sound and convincing, typical formulations of the Nazi-invoking argument are found to be seriously deficient both in logical rigour and in the social history and psychology required as a scholarly underpinning. As an antidote, an attempt is made both to identify some of the likely causes of genocide and to isolate some of the more modest but legitimate fears that lie behind slippery-slope arguments of this kind.
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