Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Pulling up the runaway: the effect of new evidence on euthanasia's slippery slope.
  1. C J Ryan
  1. Westmead Hospital, NSW, Australia.


    The slippery slope argument has been the mainstay of many of those opposed to the legalisation of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. In this paper I re-examine the slippery slope in the light of two recent studies that examined the prevalence of medical decisions concerning the end of life in the Netherlands and in Australia. I argue that these two studies have robbed the slippery slope of the source of its power--its intuitive obviousness. Finally I propose that, contrary to the warnings of the slippery slope, the available evidence suggests that the legalisation of physician-assisted suicide might actually decrease the prevalence of non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

    Linked Articles

    • Research Article
      S Glick